The Chinese Government has given the Shanghai municipal authority the green light to begin construction of the new Pudong International Airport.

Aeroports de Paris has already been awarded a contract for the overall design of the Pudong Airport. Phases 2 and 3 will include the addition of three more runways and an extra 650,000m2 of terminal space, increasing its annual passenger capacity to 70 million.

Phase 1 of the project calls for the construction of a single 4,000m runway and a 150,000m2 passenger terminal by the end of 1999. The new airport will initially be capable of handling up to 126,000 flights, 20 million passengers and 750,000t of cargo per year.

It is planned to raise a third of the initial '12 billion ($145 million) needed for phase 1 through borrowings from Japan and France, says Wu Xiangming, head of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport Construction Headquarters. A further 3 billion yuan will come from the local Shanghai authority and the remainder from China's State Development Bank.

The new airport is needed to serve Shanghai's fast growing Pudong development zone and it will supplement the city's existing Hongqiao Airport .

Source: Flight International