World’s Second-Highest Airport Opens

A new airport, claimed to be the second highest in the world, is now operational at Kangding, China. Opened in October, it is located at an altitude of 14,042ft (4,280m) above sea level. “A trip from Kangding to Chengdu, the provincial capital, now takes just 35 minutes compared to the previous six-hour road journey,” said Kangding Airport’s General Manager, Fan Yongzheng. A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-700 from Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, travelling via Chengdu, was the first flight to land there. Other scheduled services are yet to be determined.
Construction of the airport, some 25 miles (40km) from Kangding town, started in September 2006. The 13,123ft (4,000m) runway is designed to meet the demands of Airbus A319 and B737s and the facility is expected to handle 330,000 passengers and 1,980 tonnes of cargo and mail annually.