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China Building Airport on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

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Workers on Wednesday completed construction of a runway for a new airport in the heart of China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

The 3,800-meter-long runway, 3,900 meters above sea level,is part of a planned airport about 20 km away from Yushu, also known as Gyegu, seat of Tibet Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai Province, west China.

"Completion of this runway as scheduled lay a good foundation for operation of Yushu Airport," said an official with the Engineering and Equipment Department of the Headquarters for Construction of Airports in Qinghai with the China West Airport Group.

With a budget of more than 500 million yuan (about US$73 million), Yushu airport began construction in May 2007. It also requires construction of a 4,000-square-meter terminal and is designed to handle planes such as the Airbus A319.

In accordance with the schedule, all infrastructure for the airport should be finished by the end of this year so the facility could be put into service in June 2009.

The airport will improve transport in this remote prefecture, which currently relies on road traffic. It will be financed by the state and the locality concerned.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2008)