As China expects to see a large growth in its aviation industry, the central government has set its sights to open a third airport serving the city of Shanghai – the financial capital and the most populated city of the country.

Talks for a third airport for the Shanghai area has been ongoing since 2017 to complement the existing airports of Pudong and Hongquiao. Pudong is Shanghai’s main international hub while Hongquiao serves mostly domestic and regional flights. Combined, both airports served 112 million passengers making it one of the top five cities in terms of passenger traffic. Settings its sights on the future, China’s government has forecast that the Shanghai area will see around 290 million travelers by the year 2040.

"In addition to its existing capacity, Shanghai is in need of another international airport that is equivalent to one-and-a-half times the size of Hongqiao airport, and a large general aviation airport," Jiang Huaiyu, director of the East China branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), said at a meeting last May.

At present, there is a contest for locations for the new airport. Among the locations that have been reported to be consideration include Nantong, Kunshan, Jiaxing, and Chongming district of Shanghai. Nantong and Kunshan are located north of Shanghai, while Jiaxing is southwest of the city.

Local news reports last week reported that Nantong was selected as the location for the new airport, which the CAAC later refuted adding a final decision is yet to be made.

While discussions for the new Shanghai airport is ongoing, China is actively looking to have up to 450 airports in the country by the year 2035 – double the existing airports within China. Among the featured new airports that will soon open include Beijing’s Daxing Airport – the Chinese capital’s second airport.

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