The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Thursday announced that 56 airports will be constructed in the next five years to expand the country’s transport capacity, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Li Jiaxiang, head of the CAAC, said that China plans to increase its capacity to transport an estimated 450 million passengers each year. In order to reach this goal, 1.5 trillion Yuan ($230 billion) will be invested in the next 5 years.
With this major investment in China’s aviation industry, the number of airports in the world’s most populous nation is expected to be around 230 facilities while the aircraft fleet will likely be over 4,500 units.
In recent times, China has increased its investment in airports. From 2005 to 2010, 33 new airports were constructed while an additional 33 facilities were renovated or expanded. There are currently 175 active airports in China.
On January 19, the Chinese government approved a $19 billion aircraft agreement with Boeing for 200 aircraft to be delivered over a three-year period (2011-2013). The deal helped Boeing to maintain and expand its market share in the world’s fastest growing commercial aircraft market.
In November 2010, Boeing projected that China is expected to become the world’s number two plane market over the next 20 years. Boeing jets in China’s air travel and cargo system represent more than 50 percent of all commercial jetliners operating in the Asian country.