2008-06-26 07:14:54 GMT 2008-06-26 15:14:54 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
LHASA, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Lhasa Gongga Airport has installed runway lighting to allow it to receive flights around the clock for the first time since it started operation 43 years ago.
Chen Hua, an airport official, said that with the new runway lighting, Gongga airport can increase its handling capacity by at least 40 percent.
The runway lighting cost 99 million yuan (about 13.2 million U.S. dollars), and work began at the 3,600 meter high airport on March 15.
Gongga airport, one of the world's highest airports and one of four in Tibet Autonomous Region, extended its runway to 4,000 meters in 2001, in a 300 million yuan upgrade that also saw a new terminal and passenger facilities. The airport aims to handle 1.1 million passengers a year by 2010, an increase from the 2007 figure of 1.05 million.
It is not yet known when the first night flights into the airport will take place.