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June 15, 2012

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2 runways at Pudong key for new jumbo jet

CONSTRUCTION of the fourth and fifth runways at the Pudong International Airport has passed a quality appraisal by experts, the Shanghai Airport Authority said yesterday.

The appraisal, done for the National Development and Reform Commission, included construction planning, air space utilization, environmental impact, land compensation and project investment.

It concluded that the runways are key to Shanghai's future as an air traffic hub and home to China's own jumbo plane.

The two new runways, now under construction, will provide a testing ground for the much-anticipated Chinese-made jumbo jet C919. They will also be used to conduct test flights of the ARJ21 regional jet, also a Chinese aircraft.

Shanghai will then have seven runways, five at the Pudong airport and two at the Hongqiao International Airport.

The C919 is due to make its first flight in 2014 and enter service within two years, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China. Officials estimate production will reach 150 jets annually by 2020.

The research said the new runways will have little effect on noise at the airport.

The fourth runway, 3,800 meters long, can handle the largest commercial plane, the Airbus 380. The 3,400-meter fifth runway, located by the sea, will be used for C919 test flights.

The cost of the two new runways at the Pudong airport, operated by Shanghai International Airport Co Ltd, will be 9.4 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion). New runways will enable the world's third-busiest air hub by passenger volume to handle 60 million passengers a year by 2015, said airport officials.


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