So far, the airline connects the county only with the administrative center of Xinjiang, but the airport will soon serve planes and other airlines, said its director general Chen Xiaogo.
Tashkurgan is the only autonomous county in China where Tajiks live compactly. According to statistics, their number is about 40 thousand people, which is more than 80 percent of the total population of the county. In the past, local socioeconomic development has been hampered by poor transportation infrastructure.
Construction of the Khunjerab airport began in 2020. The project cost 1.6 billion yuan ($229 million).
The airport terminal with a 3,800 meter long runway is located at an altitude of 3,525 meters above sea level. Its annual passenger traffic is expected to reach 160 thousand people and cargo turnover – 400 tons.
“Before, I had to spend 40-50 hours traveling from Tashkurgan to Beijing, and the opening of a new airport will allow me to reduce the travel time to eight hours,” said Mirsayip Nuralip, a resident of Tashkurgan-Tajik Autonomous County. .
The Khunjerab airport will play a positive role in improving the local transportation system, promoting tourism and expanding the opening, summed up the head of the Zapar county administration, Ataullah.