Air travel in Tibet achieves 54 years of safe operation

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 29, 2019
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Planes stand at Lhasa Kongga International Airport in China's Tibet Autonomous Region on March 26. [Photo by Yang Yunpeng/]

The civil aviation industry of Tibet Autonomous Region has operated safely for 54 consecutive years since the first route between Beijing and Lhasa was opened in March 1965. 

"This is a miracle in the history of aviation, given the peculiar geological and climate features in Tibet," said Wen Bin, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of the Tibetan Branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

"It is an unprecedented achievement that a large group of airports built at high altitude have safely operated for such a long time," Wen said in an interview on Tuesday.

Currently, there are five airports in Tibet, Lhasa Kongga International Airport, Qamdo Bangda Airport, Nyingchi Mainling Airport, Nagri Gunsa Airport and Shigatse Peace Airport.

Wen said that Tibet, with its extreme climate and average altitude of more than 4,000 meters, was considered as "prohibited airspace". However, the past few decades have witnessed remarkable progress in Tibet's civil aviation.

According to figures released by the branch, there are 92 international and domestic routes operating in Tibet. Last year, Tibet's airports served a total of 5.3 million passengers, a 17 percent increase from the previous year; while cargo throughput reached 39,945 tons, an increase of 12.9 percent.

Wen said that Tibet will continue to increase its air capacity by building three new airports in Shannan, Dingri and Burang. "The airports are expected to start construction within the year and be put into service in 2022."

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