CHINA / Regional

Beijing to build second international airport
By Xin Dingding (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-31 06:33

With extension work already underway at the Capital International Airport, plans have been unveiled for a second airport for Beijing.

The new airport will be built after the 2008 Olympics, said a civil aviation administration official.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently called for authorities to speed up their consultations on where the new airport will be.

Hong Shanyuan, an official with the airport department of the General Administration of Civil Aviation (CAAC) said it could be built in Hebei Province or to the south of the city.

"The site of the airport will be chosen from either the city of Langfang, in Hebei Province or at the Nanyuan Airport to the south of Beijing," said Hong. He told China Daily that authorities have only got as far as looking for a site.

In the past, there had been speculations that the new airport might be built in Tianjin or Beijing's Tongzhou District.

"In my opinion, the two candidate sites have similar advantages, except for their airspace availability," said Wang Wei, a professor with the Civil Aviation University of China.

He stressed that the authorities should select the site with the most available airspace.

Beijing already has a few no-fly zones, which have restricted the development of the current capital airport. The construction of a second international airport will have to take into consideration what airspace remains, said Wang.

The site at Langfang is a "moderate" distance from other nearby airports, said Li Haijun, an official with the Langfang Development and Reform Commission.

"We believe building the capital's second airport in Langfang will not influence the operation of other nearby airports," said Li.

Langfang also has other advantages, such as no no-fly zones over the city and no large residential areas near the site.

However, Langfang also has some disadvantages compared with the other candidate, Nanyuan Airport in southern Beijing.
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