Quake-zone Airport Will Be Improved to Operate Round-the-clock
    2010-05-05 00:08:36     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Xu
 

China plans to upgrade the airport in quake-hit Yushu of Qinghai Province to offer 24-hour services.

The work to improve the airport would be done in the coming three months, Hu Hongbin, head of the Qinghai safety supervision bureau under the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), told Xinhua Tuesday.

Night navigation equipment will be installed at the Paltang airport at an altitude of 3,905 meters in Yushu, the highest airport in the world.

Hu said air transportation had played a very important role in quake relief work.

Air transport played an essential role in getting relief supplies in and taking the wounded out of the quake zone.

The quake-hit Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture sits at an average altitude of 4,200 meters above sea-level. An 820-km highway is the only overland route from Yushu to the provincial capital of Xining. Air travel cuts the journey between the two places from 10 hours to just one hour.

"Thanks to Paltang airport, rescuers, tents and food were transported to the quake-zone in time," said Tong Guangyi, deputy head of the prefecture.

Statistics show, as of April 29, 432 flights had taken off or landed at Paltang airport in Yushu, transporting 14,509 people and 2,015 tonnes of relief goods and materials.

"Lack of night navigation equipment and runway lightings increase the risks of flying at night," Hu said.

But he said after the upgrade, the airport would be able to operate flights at night much more easily and safely.

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