Nyingchi Airport promotes Tibet's development in 10 years

2016-09-02 11:26:56 | From:China Tibet Online


As one of the most challenging airports to lift off from and land at in the world, Nyingchi Airport has been in operation since 2006. Planes have taken off and landed inside the twists and turns of the Yarlung Tsangpo River valley for 10 years, creating a legend in the former “no flight zone” of the plateau.

Nyingchi Airport is the third airport in the Tibet Autonomous Region, located 50 km away from the Bayi District in Nyingchi, it has an altitude of 2,949 meters.

Yang Chiwei, the vice mayor of Nyingchi, said that 10 years ago, residents depended on the highway to enter and leave Tibet. Because Nyingchi is 1,688 km away from Chengdu, capital city of SW China's Sichuan Province, a bus ride took at least three days and nights, and with difficult road conditions, there are many hidden dangers.

In order to improve the travel conditions for people traveling to and from Nyingchi, the regional government of Tibet invested 780 million yuan to build the airport in 2003. Gong Jiechang, manager of the operations department at Nyingchi Airport, said that at the narrowest point of the flight path at Nyingchi Airport, the plane has less than four km from the walls of the valley.

Given the plateau’s geography and severe, temperamental weather conditions, the Nyingchi Airport has the most complex flight environment, climate conditions, flight navigation planning, flight procedure set-up, as well as the most difficult take-offs/landings, and guarantee of on-time flights among all Chinese airports, it is also one of the most challenging airports in the world.

In the past 10 years, the airport had 20,589 safe flights, a passenger volume of 1,953,717 persons, and a freight volume of 7,333.5 tons. After the airport began operation, the number of tourists continued to rise every year. At the end of 2015, Nyingchi has had a total of 3.52 million visitors and a tourist income of 3.28billion yuan. Nyingchi Airport began renovations and expansions in 2014. It is estimated that by the end of October 2016, the entire construction project will be completed.

By 2020, Nyingchi Airport’s annual passenger volume will be able to reach 750 thousand persons and the annual freight volume to reach3,000 tons. Manager at Nyingchi Airport said that Tibet aims to build the airport into the second major transportation channel for access to Tibet next to the Lhasa Gonggar Airport.


In addition, highways and railway construction is also being expedited in Tibet. By the end of 2015, there are 78 thousand km of highways in operation, 300 km of which are Level 1 highways. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, launched in July 2006, is also greatly contributing to the expansion of Tibet’s economic and trading partnership with South Asian countries, deepen cultural exchanges, and making Tibet the key avenue in opening China toward South Asia.

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