China will build 56 more airports in the next five years to expand its transport capacity, a senior Chinese civil aviation official said on Thursday. Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said the total number of airports in the country is likely to cross 230 in next five years with an expected aircraft fleet of over 4,500 units, enough to carry 450 million passengers annually.Presently, the country has 175 airports.

“Investment in China’s aviation industry is likely to reach 1. 5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) in the next five years,” Li said at a national civil-aviation work conference held in Guiyang, capital city of southwest China’s Guizhou Province.

China’s investment in building airports has accelerated since the turn of the century.

From 2005 to 2010, 33 new airports were constructed while another 33 were renovated or expanded, bringing the total number of airports to 175 in 2010, Xinhua reported.

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