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China to build world's highest airport in Tibet

China plans to build the world's highest airport in Tibet, the sixth in the strategic Himalayan region, at an altitude of 4,436 metres, the state media reported today.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2010 19:53 IST

China plans to build the world's highest airport in Tibet, the sixth in the strategic Himalayan region, at an altitude of 4,436 metres, the state media reported today.

The airport, planned for Nagqu Prefecture, would be 102 metres higher than Bamda Airport in Tibet's Qamdo Prefecture, which has been the world's highest airport since its completion in 1994, Xu Bo, director of the Tibetan Branch of the China Civil Aviation Administration, said.

Xu Jian, director of the Nagqu Committee of Development and Reform, said construction of the airport had been included in the Tibet's development plan and efforts are on to select a site for the airport.

The airport construction is planned for 2011 with a construction period of three years. It is expected to cost 1.8 billion yuan (263 million U.S. dollars), he said.

He said this airport, the sixth in Tibet, would be named Nagqu Dagring Airport, after the area of its expected location, Xinhua news agency reported.

Xu said all of Tibet's six prefectures would have an airport on its completion.

"The civil aviation network in Tibet has taken shape. The objective for the next stage of development is to open direct air routes from Tibet to south Asian countries," he said.

Nagqu, about 300 km from Lhasa, capital of Tibet, is located in the centre of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.