Shanghai Pudong International Airport will open its fourth runway for operations by the end of 2012.
The newly-built runway, measuring 3,800m (12,500ft) by 60m, will meet the flight test needs of the Chinese indigenous C919 twinjet. The narrowbody is slated to fly in 2014.
The runway will also be used for the airport's daily operations to improve its aircraft movements, says Lu Yao from the marketing department of Shanghai Pudong.
She adds that the airport can now handle 65 aircraft movements per hour during peak hours, and intends to improve on that figure.
Shanghai Pudong now has two terminals with a capacity to handle 60 million passengers annually. Its passenger throughput hit 41.4 million last year.
Expecting passenger numbers to hit 81 million by 2020, the airport also plans to build a fifth runway and two satellite buildings by then.
"We have the necessary ground capacity to handle more aircraft, but we really need to work with air traffic controls to improve aircraft movements," says Lu.
At Routes, Shanghai Pudong is talking to African carriers to launch connections to the region.
"It's definitely a white spot we need to fill," adds Lu.