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Xi'an Planning to Expand Its Airport

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, one of China's top 10 airports, expects to start the second-phase of its extension project early next year according to officials.


A total of 6.2 billion yuan (US$764.5 million) is needed for the construction of a new runway and a third terminal, which are scheduled to be operational by 2011, according to Kang Ye, an official with the Shaanxi Provincial Development and Reform Commission.


"In accordance with the extension plan, the new runway will be 3,800 meters long and 60 meters wide, meeting all the landing and taking off requirements for any large planes currently in use," Kang told China Daily.


Some supporting projects including a 25-metre wide taxiway and eight linking taxiways will also be built. The total floor area of the new terminal is going to be 170,000 square meters, the official said.


According to a feasibility study, the new project will help the airport meet the requirements for air transportation in 2020, capable of handling 26 million arrivals and departures and 250,000 plane landings and take-offs.


The feasibility report was examined by a group of experts sent by the central government to Xi'an. The group held meetings from July 29 to August 1 in the capital of Shaanxi Province. They concluded that the extension project is necessary.


The present capacity of Xi'an Xianyang International Airport is almost at breaking point. "It is unable to meet the requirements for social and economic development in the area," experts said.


Located in the northwest suburbs of Xi'an, the airport was first put into operation in 1991, with a capacity for handling 2 million passenger arrivals and departures annually. However, passenger volume reached the ceiling of the designed capacity in a matter of three years.


(China Daily August 4, 2005)


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