China Builds Third Civilian Airport in Tibet

China is ready to operationalise the third civilian airport in Nyingchi Prefecture close to India and Myanmar in the remote Himalayan region of Tibet.

The Nyingchi Airport has passed official quality test and is ready for operation, a joint team in charge of checking the airport construction announced yesterday.

The general examination carried out by a number of civil aviation experts on Friday confirmed the quality of the Nyingchi Airport, Xinhua news agency reported.

Construction of the Nyingchi Airport started in October 2004 and cost more than 87.5 million US dollars.

With a 3,000-meter-long runway, the airport, 400 kilometres from Tibet's regional capital of Lhasa, is expected to have an annual passenger flow of 120,000.

The airport is located at 2,954 meters above sea level, lower than the other two civil airports in Lhasa and Qamdo.

Its low altitude will make Nyingchi an ideal first stop for tourists to gradually adapt themselves to Tibet's highland climate and minimise the harms of low oxygen, experts said.

Nyingchi Prefecture, covering 117,000 square kilometres and bordering India and Myanmar, is known for its humid and mild weather, beautiful landscape and rich natural resources.

About 120 kilometres from the Nyingchi Airport is the Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon, the world's largest canyon that is often referred to as the last secret land yet to be explored by human beings.

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