China to build 7th airport in Tibetan region
Beijing: In a boost to infrastructure in the strategic Himalayan region, China has announced plans to build the seventh airport near Tibet, where the world`s highest altitude aerodrome is located.
Construction will start later this year on a new airport in Dawu Township, seat of Golog Tibetan autonomous prefectural government in Qinghai Province, to boost local development, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.
The airport in a Tibetan-populated prefecture was recently approved by China`s Cabinet, the report said.
At an altitude of about 3,780 metres, the airport will require investment of 1.13 billion yuan (about USD 184 million).
It will have the capacity to handle 80,000 passengers and 200 tonnes of cargo per year Airbus 319 and Boeing 737-700 aircraft, it said.
Golog covers 76,000 square km on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and has a population of 1.80 lakh, mostly herders.
The topography of the region, with an average elevation of 4,200 metres, is dominated by daunting snow-capped mountains and sprawling meadowland.
According to media reports last month, yet another world`s highest altitude civilian airport is getting ready in Tibet surpassing the record held by Bangda Airport, also located in the Himlayan region.
State media had reported about the construction of the 4,411-metre-high Daocheng Yading Airport in Garzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan that will surpass the Bangda Airport in Tibet.
China has so far built five airports at Gonggar, Lhasa, Bangda, Xigaze and Ngari in Tibet.
The rapid pace of the development of air infrastructure in Tibet coupled with rail and road development have raised concerns in India as it provides massive advantage to China to move its troops and equipment overcoming the adverse geographical problems in the remote region of the world.