China's first cargo airport, located in Hubei province, is expected to be put into use by the end of next year or early 2022, although the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak has delayed its construction, the country's top economic planner said on Sunday.
Construction of Ezhou Airport, in Hubei's Ezhou city, which neighbors the provincial capital Wuhan, started in the second half of last year, and it is the first airport in the country to obtain investment from private companies.
Zhang Qing, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said 23 cargo flights had been dispatched to transport more than 4.06 million tons of pandemic prevention and control equipment to other countries by March 26.
The administration has taken various measures to increase international air cargo capacity during the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic and ensure the stability of the global supply chain, Zhang said.
It has allocated many peak time slots at major airports for cargo flights, has opened "green channels" to simplify approval procedures and has encouraged domestic and international airlines to launch extra cargo flights. The bureau will encourage delivery companies to expand their services to nearby countries, such as Japan, South Korea and Russia, and broaden delivery channels to West Europe and North America, he said.