China plans a S$5.4 billion airport on artificial island near Dalian

BEIJING - Dalian, a major city in northeast China, plans to build an airport on a 20.9 square-kilometer (8.07 square-mile) artificial island to be created off its coast with a total cost of 26.3 billion yuan (S$5.4 billion), local media said on Tuesday.

The airport, with four runways, will become one of the world's biggest airports created through landfill, capable to handle Airbus' A380 mega jets, said on its website.

Cai Li, chairman of Dalian International Airport Co Ltd, referred to the new airport plan as a "timely move" as the city's existing Zhoushuizi airport will be outgrown within five years, according to

Last year, Zhoushuizi airport, China's 17th busiest, handled more than 14 million passengers, up 5.6 per cent from a year earlier, official statistics show.

China's airports in total handled more than 754 million passengers last year, up 11 per cent from 2012 and 86 per cent from five years ago.

Congestion and delays are only set to worsen as manufacturers estimate one new plane will take to China's skies every other day for the next two decades.

The country is in the midst of a major airport expansion drive, aiming to bring the total number of airports to more than 220 by the end of 2015.