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Tibet to have fifth civil airport operational before year end 2010

THE expansion project of Peace Airport for Xigaze prefecture in southwestern China's Tibet Autonomous Region would be completed before the end of next year, local government said today.

The project will be the fifth civil airport in Tibet. There are now three civil airports operational in the autonomous region, namely Gongkar airport in Lhasa, Mainling airport in Nyingchi, and Pangda airport in Qamdo. Another civil airport was being built in Ngari prefecture.

According to Kelsang Tsering, party chief for Xigaze prefecture, the Peace Airport, which is 48 kilometers from Xigaze city, is expected to begin operation next October.

The project costs 480 million Yuan (US$70.3 million). It plans to be able to annually accommodate 230,000 passengers and 1,150 tones of cargos and allow 2,580 take-offs and landings annually in 2020.

It is believed the project will boost development of tourism in Xigaze. As the second largest city in Tibet, Xigaze city is home to a group of famous, ancient temples, including Tshilhunpo, Sakya and Palkhor Chode monasteries. Xigaze prefecture also boasts such tourist destination of Mount Qomolangma, which is in Dingri county.


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