China Blew up a Mountaintop to Build an Airport

Jun 22, 2018

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It goes without saying that building and opening a new airport is no easy task. One of the biggest challenges is finding the space for it. After all, commercial airport runways are typically at least 1.1 miles long — usually more. But what do you do if there’s no space for the airport? You make space.

A new airport is coming to the mountainous Wushan County in Chongqing, China. And to make room for the airport, workers chopped off the top of a mountain — literally. Taohua Mountain (5,900 feet above sea level) was flattened by using dynamite to blow the top off.

Chongqing Wushan Airport will be a domestic airport with a 8,530-foot (1.6 miles) long runway, one terminal and one apron, which will be able to accommodate five aircraft. Construction of the awe-inspiring $252 million airport began in 2015 and is expected to be complete June 2019.

Officials hope that the project will boost connections in the region and increase tourism. Presently, the only way visitors can get to Wushan is through long bus rides along meandering roads.

The approach into the new airport will be scenic for sure, and hopefully less terrifying than landing at Tenzing-Hillary Airport (LUA) and Paro Airport (PBH).

Featured image by Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images.

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