China has started building the region’s first high-altitude airport as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), bordering China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.
While China has built several high-altitude airports in the past, however according to the sources the Taxkorgan airport will be the first one situated on the Pamir Plateau.
The officials claim that “The airport will serve as a new air route to Central Asia and South Asia. After it will be operational the airport will bring more tourists to the Pamir Pluto. This place is known for its natural beauty and unique culture.”
Airport Features and Cost
- According to the China Global Television Network (CGTN), the airport will be the first of its kind in the Pamir Plateau at an elevation of 4,500 meters, costing 1.63 billion Yuan or $230 million.
- The Airport will have a 3,000-square-meter terminal and an apron with four stands. Moreover, it will have a runway 3,800 meters long and 45 meters wide.
- Experts claimed that when the Airport will be operational, it will have a capacity of 160,000 passengers and annually 400 tons of cargo.
Deadlines and Challenges
Sources have affirmed that the Chinese government is intending to inaugurate the Taxkorgan airport in June 2022.
However, Deputy General Manager of Shanghai Road and Bridge Group, Zhou Yifeng said that:
“They are trying their best to keep pace with the deadlines as the government is facing so many challenges now.”
Further, he talks about the major challenges that the government needs to eradicate.
“During the project, construction workers will suffer from Coronavirus and altitude sickness. However, the company will abide by government-imposed SOPs to ensure that the health and safety of construction workers are not compromised.”
Why does the construction inflame India?
China’s plan of building an airport at Pamir Plateau dramatically aggravates the anger of the Indians. As the Airport will be located in Xinjiang province, which is the last significant place on Karakorum Highway. Right before it enters Pakistan administrated-Kashmir.
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