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Residents near airport to be moved
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In response to growing public pressure, Shanghai would relocate 4,000 residents living near Pudong International Airport who are affected by the noise, a Shanghai newspaper reported.

According to the Oriental Morning Post, Shanghai's urban planning authority is working with the Pudong New Area District government and the airport authority to draft a plan to gradually relocate the residents and 144 businesses near the airport.

Because the noise affects a large area and the relocation would be expensive, it would be carried out in phases.

Once it is complete, the area would become an industrial and agricultural zone for logistics warehouses, modern farms and "green" areas, the report said.

No timetable has been released yet.

Deputy to the Shanghai municipal people's congress Pei Zhen had proposed the relocation at the congress' annual session after consulting deputies from Pudong's Chuansha and Zhuqiao towns, who said noise from the airport seriously affected residents and businesses in the surrounding areas.

The noise was said to have interfered with people's sleep patterns and health, and television and telecommunications signals.

"The most torturous noises come from flights landing and taking off," Pei was quoted as saying.

"And the noise levels have become even worse since early this year, when the airport's Terminal II building and the third runway opened."

The airport opened in 1999 and today handles about 60 percent of the city's air traffic.

In 2007, its daily flight volume hovered around 700, and its rapid expansion has become crucial to the growth of business opportunities in the city, Pei said.

The municipal government recently responded to his proposal, saying measures would be taken to curb noise pollution in the area.

Before the relocation begins, the Airport and Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) East China Regional Administration would conduct a feasibility study on reducing noise by adjusting flight procedures and constructing noise-reducing facilities.

(China Daily July 17, 2008)

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