While sometimes it can seem as if all China is building is new railway lines, that’s not entirely true. They’re also building airports.
By 2025, China hopes to add 136 new civil airports, according to a plan from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
At the end of 2015, China already had 207 civil airports, which they hope to increase to 260 by 2020. China began a major airport construction boom back in 2008, as a way of fighting off the global financial crisis through massive infrastructure spending.
Of course, Chinese airports aren’t exactly the happiest places on Earth. Last year, a government survey found that a whopping one-third of Chinese flights are delayed, sometimes due to “bad weather,” and other times because of the PLA.
A FlightStats report from 2015 named Chinese airlines and airports as the world’s worst for punctuality. Among the 61 largest airports in the world, the seven worst performers for on-time departures were all mainland Chinese airports that year with our very own Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong airports taking the bottom two spots.
Hellish delays at airports around China have led to numerous nasty conflicts between impatient passengers and airline staff. Last April, angry passengers at an airport in Changsha were filmed slapping and throwing food at an airline employee due to their frustrations over a flight delay. Later in the year, an enraged flight captain urged his passengers to protest a flight delay by getting out of the plane and playing shuttlecock on the apron.
To combat annoying delay problems, China is currently building some “mega airports” around the country. Beijing’s new airport will have 7 runways, handling 100 million passengers annually — who cares if the inside looks like a vagina. Meanwhile a 70 billion yuan international airport under construction in Chengdu will boast 6 runways and handle 90 passengers each year.
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