The Chinese central government has granted authority for a third runway to be built at Shenzhen’s Bao’an Airport in a bit to boost the aviation/travel needs of the Pearl River Delta region.

According to a notice from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the go-ahead was given for a new 3600 meter (~11800 feet) to be built which will have an estimated cost of around CNY9.35 billion (USD $1.39 billion). The new runway will be built west of the existing west runway (Runway 16/34).

Along with the additional runway, Shenzhen Airport will see new aviation support facilities for communication and navigation, as well as a satellite terminal for domestic operations.

First opened in 1991, Shenzhen Bao’an Airport has become the 5th busiest airport in China serving as a major hub for Shenzhen Airlines and the Asia-Pacific cargo hub for UPS Airlines. In 2018, the airport served 49 million passengers and the new additional runway and terminal will allow it to increase its capacity to 80 million passengers per year by 2030.

The new runway is a boost to Shenzhen as a major air hub in the Pearl River Delta, which includes other major cities of Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou. When combined, the total population of the area is around 120 million with the major cities being within 130 kilometers (80 miles) of each other.