Looking for Lessons in China's Growing Air Infrastructure

Unbounded by budgetary concerns, lengthy approvals processes, or NIMBY neighbors, China is building 100 new airports over the next two years. Does their process offer any lessons for how to fix America's crumbling air infrastructure?

"Three years after it opened, Terminal 2 at Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai stands as a testament to China’s economic ambitions, and to its unique approach to infrastructure development," writes David Barboza. "With extraordinary government support, Shanghai built a massive airport terminal in 32 months as part of a $9 billion transportation hub that connects the air terminal with the city’s buses, subway platforms and a new high-speed railway network.

“'They know how to build things and how to do it efficiently,' said Jeffrey N. Thomas, chief executive of Landrum & Brown, an American firm that helped design the new Shanghai terminal. 'That area went from plans on a piece of paper to a complex that has 14 million square feet in less than four years. That’s hard to do.'”

"At a time when many American airports are falling into disrepair, China is quickening its air travel development, with plans to build nearly 100 more airports by 2015, including some at high altitudes, where special landing gear is required. Many of those airports are expected to lose money, but that hasn’t deterred the government, which views the expansion of infrastructure as vital to economic development."

Full Story: Airports in China Hew to an Unswerving Flight Path

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