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Shanghai airport to double capacity

South China Morning Post – Dec. 8, 2011

Shanghai Pudong International Airport received approval to build a fourth and fifth runway in an expansion that will see the number of aircraft movements double by 2020.

The addition of two runways will enable the airport to handle 650,000 landings and take-offs a year in 2020, compared with 332,100 aircraft movements last year.

Pudong airport received the green light for the expansion from the Development and Reform Commission on November 21, but the approval was only made public when the Civil Aviation Administration of China put an announcement on its website on Tuesday.

The 3,800-metre fourth runway and an auxiliary taxiway will be built to the east of the second runway. It will cost 2.58 billion yuan (HK$3.17 billion) and include additional air-traffic-control and meteorology facilities. The 3,400-metre fifth runway will be built to the east of the fourth and include a new traffic tower at a cost of 4.65 billion yuan.

Construction of the runways is expected to be completed by 2015. Shanghai is the second-busiest airport in the country after Beijing and is sought after by international airlines seeking to expand in China.

However, the shortage of landing slots at Pudong has kept airlines from increasing service to the country’s commercial capital. Hongqiao airport, which is supposed to be for domestic flights only, opened to international flights last year, partially because of congestion at Pudong.

China Eastern Airlines (SEHK: 0670) and Shanghai Airlines are the two base carriers in Shanghai.

In the first half, Pudong airport handled 167,510 aircraft movements, up by 6 per cent from a year earlier. Passenger numbers grew 4 per cent to 19.8 million while cargo volume dropped 2.9 per cent to 1.53 million tonnes. The airport saw its net profit increase 31 per cent year on year to 723 million yuan in the first half, on 923 million yuan in turnover.

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