Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Beijing: In a move that would significantly reduce the time taken to travel to provincial capital Chengdu and promote tourism, China has opened world’s highest civilian airport in Garzi, a Tibetan region of Sichuan province.
Daocheng Yading Airport situated at a height of 4, 411 metres has outdone Daocheng Yading Airport (4,334 metres) to notch the title of world’s highest airport.
The 14,472 feet high airport that cost China 315 million dollars is set to tackle 2, 80, 000 air passengers and also give a fillip to China tourism as the remotely situated beautiful Yading Nature Reserve will now be accessible to public.
The flight operations began today to provincial capital Chengdu, which earlier used to take two-days time but now the travel time has been reduced to mere 65 minutes.
Flights to other cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing will begin at a later date.
The significance of a high airport is that at such elevations, air density decreases and aircraft engines produce less thrust that calls for longer runways.
The runways at Daocheng Yading is 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) long, just 242 meters (794 feet) shorter than the longest runway at New York`s John F Kennedy International Airport.
China has of late begun constructing and revamping airports as a means to pep up the economy by boosting tourism.
The airport is situated at Garzi, which is also known for many anti-Chinese rule self-immolations.
Experts say, China has another motive of building airports at restive places like these as Army can be called in immediately in case of unrest.