A large passenger plane made a successful trial flight on the third runway at Shanghai Pudong International Airport today, indicating that the runway is ready for use when a second terminal opens next month.
A China Eastern Airlines' Airbus A340-300 jet took off from the runway at 5:28 am to test the new facility, including apron, signs, security and navigation. It landed at 6:49 am.
The 3,400-meter-long and 60-meter-wide runway can handle the Airbus A380, the world's biggest passenger plane.
The operation of the runway will make Shanghai the first city on the Chinese mainland that runs two airports and four runways.
The airport's annual capacity is expected to rise to 60 million passengers and 4.2 million tons of freight with the opening of a new terminal and the runway.
The airport will build a third passenger terminal and two more runways by 2015 to meet rising air travel demand.
The expansion will further boost the capacity to 80 million passengers a year and six million tons of freight at that time.
(Shanghai Daily February 19, 2008)