Pudong International Airport yesterday opened its new runway No. 4, announcing that plans for a fifth runway are in development.
According to Shanghai Daily, the first flight to make use of the new infrastructure touched down at 10:05 a.m. and was a China Eastern Airlines flight from Lanzhou, Gansu province.
The new runway has made Pudong the only airport in the whole of China with four runways. It ranks among the world’s top 20 busiest in terms of traffic. Last year the airport handled 50 million passengers and 3.2 million tons of cargo.
By 2020, Pudong is expected to enter into the top 10, growing its passenger volume to 80 million passengers and handling 3.4 million tons of cargo. To achieve this, the groundwork for a fifth runway has begun, and a large satellite terminal, scheduled to open in 2018, is under construction.
Chen Wei, deputy director of air traffic control at the East China Civil Aviation Administration of China said that in addition to meeting future capacity, “the new runway also will significantly reduce the number of delays.”
The news will no doubt be welcomed by those of us living in Shanghai, given that a recent survey reported that last year Pudong Airport was the worst performer in China for on-time performance, with only 37.26% of flights taking off from the airport as scheduled.
By Dominic Jackson