Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is expected to build three new airports in its southern area, aiming to strengthen the border region's communication with surrounding areas.
The construction of three new regional airports, together with a new airfield runway at Lhasa airport, known as the "3+1" project, is set to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2021, people.cn reported on Saturday.
The three new airports will be located in the southern Tibetan areas of Lhoka, Xigaze and Ngari, bordering with India, Bhutan and Nepal.
The 3+1 project is one of the five civil aviation development plans in Tibet under the 13th Five-year Plan (2016-20) with planned investments of 16.7 billion yuan ($ 2.6 billion).
About eight domestic and international air routes will be added through these new airports, people.cn reported Saturday.
The civil aviation system, as usual, will support the development of civil aviation in Tibet and act as the region's open-door to the outside world, CAA's head Feng Zhenglin told people.cn.
The Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) ordered a feasibility report of the 3+1 project in April and did research about accelerating future construction aid for airports in Tibet, Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.
Capital Airport Holding Company, Shanghai Airport Authority, China West Airport Group and Southwest Bureau of CAA will be responsible for the construction projects and strive to finish before 2021.
When the construction is completed, these companies will also be responsible for the airports' operation for one or two years before the Tibet civil aviation bureau takes over.
There are currently nine airlines in total operating 86 air routes via five airports in the autonomous region, including one international route to Kathmandu, Nepal, the head of Tibet Bureau Bai Zhen told Xinhua.
According to the bureau, Lhasa airport received more than 4.5 million passengers through 41,299 flights in 2017, chinanews.com reported.