Zhengzhou's Xinzheng International Airport sees rapid growth in passenger and cargo numbers
With 30 airlines connecting to 98 different cities, Zhengzhou's Xinzheng International Airport is one of China's fastest-growing and most important aviation hubs.
It is ideally located for passenger and cargo air transport - being just an hour's flight time away from Beijing and Shanghai - within range of over 39.5 million people, and directly connected to an extensive network of national and international ground transport.
Built 37km southeast of Zhengzhou's downtown in the rapidly emerging Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone (ZAEZ) - a massive industrial and logistics development area - the airport has a wide array of supporting businesses and industries nearby. This was China's first attempt at building a new urban area centred around an airport, an experimental strategy to increase the speed and efficiency with which people, materials and products can be flown in and out, enhancing connectivity and profit. Between 2010 and 2014, passenger air traffic in and out of Xinzheng International Airport grew from 8.7 million to 15.8 million, a 16.6 per cent average year-on-year increase.
The airport now offers enough seat capacity to put it on par with the international airports of Helsinki, Cairo and Manchester.
The airport has seen even greater success in cargo transport. Between 2010 and 2014, cargo volume increased from 85,800 to 370,000 metric tonnes, growing by 40 per cent yearly on average and making it the ninth-ranked air cargo hub in China. Over half of Xinzheng's air cargo flies internationally on more than 20 routes to other Asian countries, Europe, the US and Australia, filling global markets with the smartphones and other high-end electronics that are produced in its surrounding industrial zone.
"China recognises that these airports are essential to their competitiveness," says John Kasarda, chief adviser to the ZAEZ. "Zhengzhou produces over 100 million iPhones per year. All those parts and components are flown in, and the iPhones are flown out."