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Expansion of Tianjin airport finishes for Olympic Games
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The airport at Tianjin, a city neighboring Beijing, has completed its largest expansion project to cater to the needs of next year's Olympic Games, airport sources said on Tuesday.


The new terminal building was five times larger than the old one and was able to accommodate 10 million passenger arrivals and departures annually, the sources said.


More than 300,000 officials, athletes and visitors for next August's Games were expected to travel via the airport. The expanded parts were scheduled to be operational in May.


The expansion, with a total investment of nearly 3 billion yuan (US$409.5 million), started in August 2005, three years before the Games opened. It included a new 116,000-square-meter terminal building, a 270,000-square-meter apron and a 62,000-square-meter parking lot.


The runway was also widened to 75 meters from the current 50 meters and lengthened 400 meters to 3,600 meters.


After expansion, the airport would have a mail-handling capacity of 500,000 tons and could accommodate 200,000 flights annually.


Tianjin is about 120 kilometers southeast of the capital.


Track laying was completed on the intercity high-speed railway between Beijing and Tianjin last week. It would be put into use before the Games and shortened the journey between the two cities from the current 70 minutes to around 30 minutes.


(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2007)

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