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Tibet plans aviation upgrades

By Palden Nyima and Daqiong in Lhasa | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-12 09:32

A panoramic view of Shiquanhe town, the administrative center of Gar county and Ngari prefecture, Tibet autonomous region. [Photo Provided to China Daily]

Tibet will build three new airports to improve transportation and boost the economy in remote areas, according to civil aviation authorities in the region.

The three airports will be in Lhunze county, Lhokha city; Dingri county, Shigatse city; and Burang county, Ngari prefecture, said Pedron, head of the Tibet Civil Aviation Administration, at a meeting in Lhasa on Friday.

Construction of the airports - all at altitudes above 3,900 meters - will begin next year, with completion planned by 2022, he said.

"When completed, the three new airports will boost the local economy and provide a convenient way for residents to travel," he said.

Meanwhile, Lhasa Gonggar International Airport will be expanded to add a second runway, which is expected to be completed by 2020.

The four projects are part of the five key projects supported by the civil aviation authority during the 2016-20 period. The five projects represent a total investment of about 16.7 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), he said.

Currently, Tibet has five airports, with nine airlines operating 86 air routes linking Tibet with other cities. Of those, there is one international air route connecting with Kathmandu, Pedron said.

"Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, central government departments ... have placed high priority on civil aviation development in Tibet," said Wu Yingjie, the region's Party chief.

Wu said the development of civil aviation in Tibet has accelerated communication and exchanges between Tibet and other places.

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