Last week China’s newest mega airport the Chengdu Tianfu International Airport officially started operations, with Sichuan Airlines operating the inaugural flight bound for Beijing.
Reports say that the airport is set to be the new international base for Air China, which will include an aircraft maintenance hangar, an air cargo hub, a food production center and a hostel for airline employees. According to Aerotime Hub, Air China’s cargo station would have a construction area of 69,300 square meters, with enough capacity to handle 244,500 tonnes of cargo and mail.
Aside from Sichuan Airlines and Air China, another airline that will operate out of the airport is China Eastern, Payload Asia learned.
The new Chengdu Tianfu International Airport was designed with six runways and four terminals. The first phase of the project, built at a cost of around US$10.8 billion or 70 billion CNY, will see three runways and two terminals in operations, which is expected to serve 60 million passengers by 2025.
The mega project represents the second international airport in the capital of China’s southwestern province Sichuan, after Chengdu Shangliu Airport (CTU).
TFU, considered the largest civil aviation project in China after Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX), is expected to become Chengdu’s main international air hub, whilst Shuangliu (CTU), recognised as the second busiest airport in the country last year, will take on a more domestic focus.
With the new mega airport, Chengdu is now the third city in China to have two international airports, after Beijing and Shanghai. The country aims to increase the number of airports in use to 400 by 2035, from the current 241, according to the Transportation Network Planning Outline issued by the government in early 2021.