The central government is planning to spend around US$4.6 billion on new airports in western China’s Xinjiang region, state media reported. According to new government plans, Beijing will build four new airports in the cities of Tazhong, Shache, Loulan and Tumshuq as well as expand current aviation facilities in Urumqi, Hotan and Korla. The construction work will take place between 2011 and 2015 and will see the number of civil airports in the region rise to 22 from the current 16. Figures from the local civil aviation administration show that Xinjiang’s 16 airports handled 11.7 million passengers in 2010 with a total cargo throughput of 101,500 tons.
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