New airport in Guangxi mountains offers nail-biting landings

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 3:15am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 4:32am

When it opens next month, the airport in Hechi in southern Guangxi province should prove a nail-biting landing for arriving passengers.

Dozens of hilltops were levelled to clear way for the 850-million yuan (HK$1.06 billion) airport, built 677 metres above sea level.

There is a single terminal and one runway extending 2.2km. It can accommodate three flights an hour, compared to the 60 that the mainland's busiest airports handle.

Construction began in December 2008 and was completed at the end of last year.

The airport will be a transit stop on the sole air route between Chongqing and Haikou in Hainan province. It might also add a flight from Guangzhou in the future, local media reported.

Hechi is located in northwestern Guangxi on the southern end of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, which is home to about four million people.

The city sits amid several mountain ranges, including Jiuwangda to the north, the Phoenix Mountains in the northwest, Fengling to the east, and Duyang to the west.

The Green Dragon Mountains sit to the southwest.

In the past, getting to Hechi required flying to the Liangjiang International Airport in Guilin and then travelling by road for more than 200km.