Monday, May 15, 2006

Flying Leap

The Guardian recently reported that the People's Republic of China is planning to build 48 new airports between now and 2010. Also underway are major expansions of passenger facilities at existing airports. A new terminal being constructed at Beijing's main airport will be the largest airport building in the world when completed.

To put matters in perspective, China has 489 airports compared to 14,893 in the United States, according to the CIA World Factbook. (Using different standards, the Guardian article reports that the new airport construction will bring the number of airports in China to 190.) Notwithstanding the gap, the resources being poured into civil aviation in China is indicative of an economic system that is (pardon the pun) taking off.