China to build 97 new airports in 12 years

March 25, 2008 at 7:04 AM

BEIJING, March 25 (UPI) -- Chinese officials say 97 new airports, including a second international airport in Beijing, will be built in the country by 2020 at a cost of $64 billion.

The plan says by 2020, there will be 244 airports in the country, compared to 147 currently, China Daily reported Tuesday.

China's passenger traffic is forecast to grow by 11.4 percent and freight traffic by 14 percent a year until 2020.

The report said 82 percent of China's population will be living within 62 miles or 90 minutes' drive of an airport by 2020, compared to 61 percent now.

Beijing will add an international airport to support the existing one, which is among the world's 10 busiest, having handled 53.5 million passengers last year. The airport added a third terminal last year.

Construction on Beijing's second airport will begin before 2010, the report said.

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