The terminal at Kunming's vast new international airport is nearing completion and the facility is still expected to begin operations before the end of the year, according to a recent Kunming Information Hub report.
The new airport, which will be located 30 kilometers northeast of downtown Kunming, will be one of China's largest and after the second phase of construction will have two runways long enough to handle the largest wide-body airliners being flown today. There have been no direct confirmations of new routes, but there has been media speculation that the new airport will connect Kunming to Europe, Australia and the Americas via direct flights.
The airport's first phase includes one runway and is expected to enhance Kunming's trade and travel links with Southeast Asia and India as well as its international profile further afield.
Local reporters have been told that the airport's terminal building was "90 percent complete" and that workers' hours on the job had been lengthened to ensure that the facility would be open for business by the end of the year.
Once both phases of construction are completed, the airport is projected to handle 38 million passengers annually. According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, approximately 14.8 billion yuan (US$2.27 billion) has been spent on the airport to date.
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