China is to invest about 77 billion yuan (US$11.7 billion) this year on the construction of civil aviation infrastructure, especially airports, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
A report in the China Daily said that the agency will step up construction of important new airports, including those in Beijing, Chengdu, Qingdao, Xiamen and Dalian.
Eleven key infrastructure projects and 52 upgrades or expansion work on civil aviation facilities will be started this year, the administration said in a statement.
It said work on Beijing's second international airport, the largest construction project in Chinese civil aviation history, is progressing well.
Work on the terminal and air traffic control facilities began in September and construction of support facilities is expected to start in June. The airport is scheduled to be completed in June of 2019 and to become operational in December that year.
The China Daily report said that the civil aviation agency will also work with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, to publish a blueprint this year on the locations of new civil airports to be built before 2030.
Large scale airport projects
Dong Zhiyi, a deputy director at the administration, has said China plans to build 66 new civil airports in the next five years, taking the number of such airports on the Chinese mainland to 272 from 206.
To satisfy the increasing demand for passenger and cargo transport, the administration also plans to sharply increase the number of international air routes in China.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China will help domestic and foreign airlines to open more than 200 new international routes this year, its director Li Jiaxiang said.
Nol van Fenema