World’s Highest Civilian Airport Opens in Sichuan

Daocheng Yading Airport, the world’s highest civilian airport, which is located 14,472 feet above sea level, began operations this month in China’s Sichuan province in a remote Tibetan region of China. The new airport will cut travel time from this provincial area to the city of Chengdu from two days to just 65 minutes. Additional flights to cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing are scheduled to commence in the future.

The new airport is approximately 98 miles from Yading Nature Reserve in the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Yading is known as “the last Shangri-La” for its untouched lands and breathtaking scenery.

Construction of the airport took two years with a total investment of $258 million USD.

The airport will run a daily route to and from Chengdu, with additional flights beginning in 2014. The airport is expected to help in bringing tourism to the nearby Yading area.

Local Tibetans wave hada, or traditional silk scarves, as they greet the first group of passengers who landed at Daocheng Yading Airport, the world's highest-altitude civilian airport at 4,411 meters (14,471 feet)above the sea level, in Daocheng of Garzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, known as "the last Shangri-La'', in southwest China's Sichuan province Monday Sept. 16, 2013.

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