World's highest airport opens in China

Daocheng airport in Garzi is 4411 metres above sea level and overtakes Qamdo airport in Tibet, which sits at 4334 metres, for the title of world's highest.

Daocheng airport in Garzi is 4411 metres above sea level and overtakes Qamdo airport in Tibet, which sits at 4334 metres, for the title of world's highest. Photo: Reuters

China opened the world's highest civilian airport on Monday, in a restive and remote Tibetan region of southwestern Sichuan province, which will cut journey times from the provincial capital from two days to a little more than one hour.

Daocheng airport in Garzi, a heavily ethnic Tibetan part of Sichuan, is 4411 metres above sea level, and overtakes Qamdo airport in Tibet, which sits at 4334 metres above sea level, for the title of world's highest.

The official Xinhua news agency said flights would initially connect with Chengdu, the provincial capital, otherwise a two-day bus trip away. Flights to cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing will begin at a later date.

The 1.58 billion yuan ($277 million) airport, designed to handle 280,000 passengers a year, will help open up the nearby Yading Nature Reserve to tourism, Xinhua added, referring to an area renowned for its untouched natural beauty.

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