China’s Government has approved an ambitious development plan that should see around 450 billion yuan ($62 billion) being spent by 2020 to build nearly 100 new airports and expand many others.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) says on its website that the State Council, which is the country’s highest administrative body, recently approved the plan which will see 97 new airports being built by 2020, increasing the total to 244.

This represents an increase on previous development plans, which called for the country to have around 220 commercial airports by 2020.

The CAAC says preliminary estimates show that 450 billion yuan will need to be invested on airport development by 2020.

It says that by the end of the country’s 11th five-year development plan, which runs through 2010, 140 billion yuan will have been spent on 45 new airports, lifting the total to around 190.

China’s air transport market has been growing at rapid rates and the CAAC predicts double-digit percentage growth will continue each year through 2020.

It says the development plan will result in an airport being located within 100km or 1.5hr of 82% of the country’s population, up from 61% at the end of 2006.

Source:'s premium sister news site Air Transport Intelligence news