China reportedly plans to invest 52billion yuan (6.7 billion dollars) inbuilding 37 new airports and expanding31 others in the west of the countryover the next four years.
Citing China’s civil aviation authorities,the People’s Daily said thatwestern areas of the country had only38 percent of the nation’s airports,and the need for more access to aviationwas growing along with economicdevelopment.
The remote north western parts ofthe country were particularly deprived,it said, adding the construction planwould redress the balance with moreaffluent eastern areas of the country.
One of the new airports, to be builtin Tibet, would be the highest in theworld at over 4,000 metres (13,200 feet)above sea level, the newspaper said.
The Tibetan autonomous regionhas only two airports at present — onenear the capital, Lhasa, and the otherin Qamdo prefecture.
The airport construction planwas agreed at talks last year betweenthe General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) and officialsrepresenting western province, thenewspaper said.
They agreed to implement the planduring the current 2006-2010 statedevelopment plan, it added.