INTERNATIONAL - China’s state planner on Monday approved a 42.1 billion yuan ($6.06 billion) airport expansion project in Urumqi, capital of the far western region of Xinjiang, a key hub in China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Construction will run through 2030 when the expanded airport is expected to handle 63 million passengers and 750,000 tonnes of cargo a year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.
The expansion includes construction of two additional runways.
The investment value is over half of what China is spending on Beijing’s new mega-airport project - Daxing International Airport - that costs 80 billion yuan and will serve 72 million passengers a year by 2025.
Oil and mineral-rich Xinjiang has seen infrastructure construction spring up across the region in recent years as it is considered by China to be a key node in President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative.