China / Society

Plan to integrate 3 airports is signed

By Zhang Yu and Pei Pei in Shijiazhuang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-22 07:30

Beijing and Hebei province have signed an agreement that transfers management of Hebei's two main airports to the company running Beijing Capital International Airport and solidifies the roles of the region's airports.

"Integrated management in the aviation field will further deepen the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei," Hebei Governor Zhang Qingwei said on Wednesday.

Capital Airports Holding Co will take over the province's main international airport in its capital, Shijiazhuang, and an airport in Qinhuangdao, from Hebei Airport Management Holding Co.

The agreement signed on Tuesday also provides for creation of a fund to support airport development, which has been planned since a cooperative framework agreement was signed at the end of last year.

The framework agreement allocates different functions to the region's main airports and encourages the Beijing airport to divert some airline traffic to Shijiazhuang.

Beijing Capital International Airport will continue as a hub for international airlines, while Tianjin Binhai International Airport will mainly develop aviation logistics. Shijiazhuang International Airport will develop low-cost airlines and deliver express parcels.

Low-cost airlines are expected to account for 50 percent of airlines in 2017, said Zhang Yanjie, general manager of the Shijiazhuang airport.

Destinations and timetables for airlines at Shijiazhuang airport are quite limited, according to Zhang. The integrated management plan is expected to divert some domestic flights from the capital to Shijiazhuang airport, giving more choices for Hebei passengers and saving them the trouble of going to Beijing or Tianjin for flights.

Shijiazhuang International Airport has 66 international and domestic routes to 58 cities, according to airport statistics. As of Wednesday, the airport had handled 2.05 million passengers and 13,600 tons of cargo this year.

Zhang said main airports in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region can also serve as alternative runways for each other and can share flight information.

Government officials from Hebei and the Civil Aviation Administration of China met on Tuesday to discuss the integration of civil aviation. From this year to 2020, the two will promote construction of infrastructure for airports in Hebei.

(China Daily 05/22/2015 page4)

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