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China’s Wenzhou Airport master plan for new construction gains approval

Caryn Livingston

Wenzhou Longwan International Airport (WNZ), located in eastern China about 450 kilometers south of Shanghai, recently received approval for its master plan from the Civil Aviation East China Bureau to pursue development at the airport.

Currently, several major Chinese carriers operate at WNZ, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Postal Airlines, China Southern Airlines and SF Airlines. However, in terms of total cargo tonnage, the airport has yet to reach an operational level that would rank it among the world’s top cargo airports. WNZ’s master plan aims to dramatically grow capacity at the airport and perhaps rank it among the world’s top 50 airports by 2050, according to Monday’s China Civil Aviation News article on the approval.

The master plan aims to grow WNZ into a modern hub within China’s Yangtze River Delta region, with development planned over the next three decades. By 2030, in addition to growth on the passenger side of airport operations, cargo throughput at WNZ is expected to reach 285,000 tonnes, and by 2050, the airport is targeting throughput capacity of 650,000 tonnes. To achieve its growth goals, WNZ will build four terminals and three runways.

The targeted expansion would not allow the airport to break into Air Cargo World’s top 40 cargo airports of 2018, but based on 2017 global throughput, the airport would fall into the top 50 cargo airports for 2017 with that tonnage. How quickly other airports will increase their throughput over the same period remains to be seen.

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