North China's Tianjin Municipality launched Monday an airport renovation and expansion project in a bid to turn itself into the air cargo transportation and distribution hub of northeast Asia.
The project, with a total investment of 2.57 billion yuan (about US$3.1 billion), is expected to be completed by 2007.
Upon completion, the new airport will have an annual passenger handling capacity of 5.6 million, mail handling capacity of 500,000 tons and capacity for 70,000 flights, which will be effective until 2015.
In light of the long-term development plan, the airport will ultimately be able to accommodate 40 million passenger arrivals, 4 million tons of mail and 380,000 flights on a yearly basis, the airport source said.
Tianjin Airport, as the first choice for an alternate airport during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is sure to play a big role by then.
Currently, Tianjin Airport has an annual passenger and mail handling capacity of over 1.7 million and 82,000 tons, and can handle 28,000 flights annually.
(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2005)