Eight in every ten Chinese will live within 100 kilometers from air
transport by 2020 under government plans to build more than 97 airports
in the next 12 years.
Beijing Capital International
will have 192 airports by 2010 and 244 by 2020, up from 147 by the end
of 2006, the General Administration of Civil Aviation said in a
statement on its website.
The 97 new airports planned between 2007 and 2020 would cost an estimated 450 billion yuan (61.6 billion U.S. dollars), it said.
By 2020, 82 percent of China’s
population, which would contribute 96 percent of its gross domestic
product (GDP), would live within 100 kilometers or a 90-minute drive
from an airport. Currently, more than 60 percent of the 1.3 billion
people live within the range.
China is expected to have 1.45 billion people in 2020, according to the government’s population projections.