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Military Airport Set to Resume Civilian Flights

A military airport in Huizhou, a city in south China's Guangdong Province, will resume civilian flights by the end of this year after four years' suspension.


The Central South Administration of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) approved the application by Huizhou government to allow the airport to provide civil aviation services while continuing its function as a military airport, the authority said.


The CAAC regional administration also suggested the airport open to all domestic airlines companies.


"If civil aviation services could be recovered to the previous level, we could provide 14 routes that connect Huizhou to major Chinese cities including Beijing and Tianjin in North China, Nanjing and Suzhou in East China and Shenyang in Northeast China," Huang Guang, director of Huizhou Transportation Bureau, was quoted by Southern Metropolis Daily as saying yesterday.


The airport, constructed with military and civil funds, gave up its civil aviation services in 2002 in line with a new rule that military forces could not run enterprises.


However, the city has seen an increasing demand for air services due to an influx of foreign investment.


Surrounded by a number of international airports in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which are all about a one-hour ride from Huizhou, the small airport is expected to position itself as a major cargo freight airport for the eastern part of Guangdong, according to the government plan.


"Industry is booming and we have many international corporations, so we plan to put more emphasis on cargo freight," Huang said.


"The infrastructure is pretty good. The airport could resume civil aviation services by opening the waiting hall, restoring the security surveillance system and other facilities," Huang said.


(China Daily July 13, 2006)


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