The country of China is undergoing a huge transformation in its aviation landscape. As more and more Chinese citizens take to the skies in record amounts, the country's airport infrastructure cannot keep up with the demands. The country is now set to overtake the United States as the most traveled country in the world when it comes to airline travel as it continues to build new airports at a breakneck speed.
Chinese officials have announced plans to build over 200 more brand new airports over the next 15 years. As of today, China operates 234 airports across its massive and diverse terrain. This number is expected to jump to 450 by the year 2035. The ambitious plan to develop and operate more regional transportation hubs has been outlined by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). By the time all of the anticipated airports are completed in 2035, the country will have the capacity to handle approximately one-quarter of all of the planet's air travelers. The new airports will be spread out over four of the country's most populous regions, including:
YANGTZE RIVER DELTA REGION
As one of the most populated areas of China, this region is in desperate need of a rehaul of its air transportation system. China Eastern airline calls the hub in Shanghai its hub, making it an ideal region to continue to build new airports. Because so many of the country's middle-class citizens live in the Yangtze River Delta region, it makes sense to focus expansion efforts on this part of the nation.
This capital region of China boasts both the country's largest city in Beijing and its busiest port in Tianjin. The high density of this urban area makes it a natural choice to continue to build new airports to serve the area's affluent population. The new Beijing Daxing International Airport is set to open its doors in the fall of 2019. The $13 billion dollar airport is expected to feature 268 gates while handling over 70 million passengers every year.
GUANGDONG-HONG KONG-MACAU GREATER BAY AREA (PEARL RIVER DELTA)
As the hub region for both China Southern and Cathay Pacific, this area already has a solid air travel infrastructure with many modern airports calling it home. Because it continues to be the first and foremost manufacturing center of China with its close proximity to the South China Sea, the region needs to forge ahead with its air service expansion.
CHONGQING AND CHENGDU CITY CLUSTER
As China continues to expand its tourism industry, the popular area of Chongqing and Chengdu City will see a complete overhaul of its travel infrastructure. The Chengdu Tianfu International Airport is expected to open in 2020, with the intent of easing the congestion at the nearby Shuangliu International Airport.