Beijing's neighbors upgrade standby airports for Olympics

2007-12-11 20:27:44 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- China is upgrading several standby airports near Beijing for next year's Olympics by renovating terminals, enlarging tarmacs, lengthening runways and improving services.

At Zhengding Airport, about 30 kilometers northeast of Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, workers have expanded the existing air traffic control building after a year-long construction period. It will boost the building's floor space by 15,000 square meters to 44,000 square meters.

Since May last year, workers have also been renovating and expanding the old terminal with the floor space set to double to 55,000 square meters ahead of the Games, said Xing Dongfang, vice general manager of the Hebei Airport Administration Group.

The new, improved terminal will be able to handle 2.3 million passengers annually.

Earlier this year, workers enlarged the Zhengding tarmac by 35,000 square meters and built two new taxiways, both of which have been put into operation, Xing said.

"The other projects and supportive facilities, such as renovation of the drainage system and construction of new fire-control stations, will be completed before the end of June."

The Hebei Provincial Government and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China have earmarked 500 million yuan (67.6 million U.S. dollars) for the Zhengding renovation, one of three standby airports for the Beijing Capital International Airport during the Olympic Games when the volume is expected to reach up to 1,500 flights daily.