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China to construct 55 airports in next five years news
20 April 2011

In a bid to ease airport congestion, with passenger numbers rising, China plans to increase its total number of airports from 175 to 230 over the next five years, a senior Chinese aviation official has said.

Beijing Capital InternationalAccording to Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Beijing alone would handle, "450 million to 500 million passenger trips" annually by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) period.

This will be up from 230 million in 2009.

Beijing Capital International is now the second busiest airport in the world, overtaking London Heathrow, which is now in fourth place.

According to Airports Council International, passenger numbers in the Chinese capital jumped 13 per cent, to 73.9 million in 2010.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that the number of Chinese international passengers will increase by 66.87 per cent to 82.1 million by 2014, up from 49.2 million in 2009.

According to Li Jiaxiang, investment in China's aviation industry is likely to reach 1.5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) in the next five years. 

In comparison, with a population of 300 million citizens, the United States of America is home to 15,095 airports while China with a population of 1.3 billion hosts a meagre 175 airports.

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China to construct 55 airports in next five years