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Work to start on 2nd runway
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Construction of a second runway at Tianjin Binhai International Airport is expected to begin in March, with the airport's management setting ambitious targets for passenger and cargo movements.


Airport CEO Shao Dengxiang said the airport will handle 10 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo "every year in the future", without specifying a date.


Late last year, the airport opened its newly extended runway, which at 3,600 m is capable of handling the new superjumbo Airbus A380.


It is expected to go into operation next June.


Shao, who is a member of the Tianjin municipal committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said a new terminal will also be ready by May, and that a second one was planned.


Much of Tianjin airport's efforts has been focused on cargo transport.


The first air cargo joint venture in the coastal city, involving Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co Ltd and Korea Air, should be launched in March, the CEO of Binhai airport said.


However, being just two hours from Beijing, the airport also wants to establish itself as a leading international passenger transport hub.


At the end of October, it reported handling 3 million passengers last year, a record high.


In 2002, it reported more than 1 million passengers for the first time, and by the end of this year, is expected to have handled 5.6 million.


The airport serves 66 routes (48 domestic and 18 international) to 59 destinations.


(China Daily January 24, 2008)


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