www.TibetanReview.net, June 11’08
China says it expects to complete the building of the Ngari Gunsa Airport at Gunsa Township of Gar County in the remote western Tibetan prefecture of Ngari (Chinese: Ali) in 2010. With an altitude of 4,227 meters, the 4D flight zone will meet the requirement of airplanes with plateau performances, reported China’s online Tibet news service en.Tibet.cn May 30.
The communist party mouthpiece People’s Daily Online Jun 2 described the airport as the Tibet Elikunsha airport and said it is the key construction project of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) during the 11th Five-Year Plan. It said the groundwork and the foundation construction had already been completed while the airport road, terminal and surrounding area construction was fully underway.
China’s official Xinhua news agency Jun 3 said the news airport will be designed to handle 120,000 passengers a year by 2020, with a terminal building of 3,500 square metres. Ngari Prefecture covers more than 300,000 square kilometres and has a population of just 80,000, making it one of the least populated regions in the world, the report noted.
The new airport will be the fourth civilian airport in TAR – the others being the Lhasa Gonggar Airport, Bamda Airport in Chamdo and Nyingchi Airport. The Xinhua report said the Chinese central government was going to invest nearly 80 billion yuan ($11.4 billion) in the TAR during the 2006-2010 period to help build 180 key projects.