Shenzhen may be getting a second airport sooner rather than later, though it may be for general aviation rather than commercial purposes, according to a skew of reports from local media this week.
The reports come just before Shenzhen International Airport is set to open its new and impressive Terminal C, which has been built in response to growing numbers of travellers passing through the city each year. The Nanfang shared details on the new terminal in a report on August 19.
“Terminal C, which will open soon, is designed to handle 45 million passengers and 450 tons of cargo a year by 2020. But what will Shenzhen do after that?” Deng Yaoqing, President of the Pan Pearl River Delta Innovation and Development Research Institute, asked at a city forum Sunday. The possibility of a second airport has been explored since as far back as 2008, according to Deng.
“Major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have two airports, while world cities like New York and London have more than two airports,” he added, according to a report by Shenzhen Daily.
But Deng’s words may mean little if a follow-up report by Shenzhen Economic Daily this week proves correct. The Daily, quoting a local transport official, said that the second airport may not in fact serve the growing number of visitors, but instead be intended for “general aviation” purposes.
“The airport for general aviation is quite different from what expert Deng Yaoqing has suggested about building a new airport in Pingshan,” said Yang Xing, deputy director of the transportation commission’s airport department, in a quote translated by Shenzhen Daily yesterday.
“General aviation refers to civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services, and to nonscheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire. It covers a large range of activities including flight training, agricultural aviation, medical rescues, light aircraft manufacturing and maintenance,” the Daily explained.
So although a second airport may be good for local industry and jobs, it won’t bring much relief to those worried about Shenzhen’s already burgeoning transport hub as we approach 2020.
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