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Tibet to Open 5th Civil Airport Next Month

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The fifth civil airport in China's Tibet Autonomous Region will open early next month, civil aviation authorities said Thursday.

Xigaze Peace Airport, located in Xigaze Prefecture, 48 km from Xigaze City, is 3,782 meters above sea level.

The airport terminals, decor, facilities and flight tests were completed, allowing it to officially open in early November, said Zhu Feng, secretary of the airport's Communist Party of China (CPC) branch.

However, Zhu said, no exact date had yet been set for the opening.

Construction, with an investment of 489 million yuan (US$74 million), began on April 29 last year.

The airport is expected to have handled 230,000 passengers and 1,150 tonnes of cargo by 2020, according to the Civil Aviation Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Tibet has four other civil airports in Lhasa, Nyingchi, Qamdo and Ngari.

In the past five years, China has invested heavily in building transport infrastructure in Tibet, pouring money into construction of highways, railways and airports to stimulate Tibet's weak economy and tourism.

(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2010)

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