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China to put more money into small airports

The Chinese government will pump CNY1.2 billion yuan (USD$190 million) into dozens of loss-making regional airports next year as it seeks to boost economic development in poorer provinces.
The number of airports supported will rise to 146 from 135 this year, with an extra CNY133 million yuan in financial support, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the civil aviation regulator.
The airports are mostly located in less developed parts of the country, including the restive far western region of Xinjiang and the southwestern province of Yunnan, the report added.
“In recent years, China’s smaller airports have been denounced for their consistent losses,” Xinhua said.
“According to international practice, basic civil air service is needed to satisfy the needs of residents in economically underdeveloped areas and small airports and regional air routes must be developed with government subsidies.”
China plans to have about 220 civil airports by the end of next year, and expects many of them to need decades of subsidies, especially more remote facilities that may only get a single flight a week.

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