Custom Search

Thursday, November 20, 2014

China continues airport construction drive despite losses

China is stepping up efforts to build small airports across the country despite most small airports currently facing huge losses and relying on heavy government subsidies to stay open, according to a report from the Beijing-based Legal Weekly.

The policy is evident in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) granting approval in mid-October for feasibility reports or proposals for five new airports in Jilin's Songyuan, Qinghai's Golog, Inner Mongolia's Zalantun, Yunnan's Lancang and Guizhou's Renhuai, with total investment pegged at 5.49 billion yuan (US$897 million), according to publ ished data.

Based on the consideration of bolstering economic development, the government has been extending enormous support to airport infrastructure projects, according to Wang Zhiqiang, director of the Airport Planning Institute of Civil Aviation University of China.

Li Jiaxiang, general director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said in 2013 that China only has 0.19 airports per 10,000 square kilometers, compared with 0.57 in the United States, 0.92 in the European Union and 2.59 in Japan. China therefore aims to build 70 airports, and revamp and expand 101 existing ones by the end of 2015, according to Li.

Over the past five years, only 33 airports were built in the coun try, Li noted.

Wang attributed the government's strong push for the construction of small and medium-sized airports in local areas as part of its efforts to push the development of the country's economy and promote local tourism.

However, nearly 80% of small airports in the country currently face huge losses, said Zhang Qihuai, vice-president of aviation law research for the China Law Society.

The continuing development of freeways and high-speed railway systems has significantly affected the air transportation industry, given its exorbitant ticket prices and weather-sensitive nature, Zhang pointed out.

Moreover, small and medium-sized airports are usually located in areas with relatively small population sizes, where tourism and the economy are less developed, which can lead to low passenger traffic.

Source: Want China Times

from China Travel & Tourism News


Put the internet to work for you.

Turn off or edit this Recipe

No comments: