BIJIE, July 1 (ChinaMil) -- A joint meeting on the development of military-civilian integration of dual-use airports of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force was held in Beijing on June 17. The meeting deliberated and passed the "Interim Provisions of Operation Security at Dual-use Airports of the PLA Air Force."
Following the win-win principles for both the military and civilian sides, the provisions aimed at regulating the operating security works at dual-use airports, including the coordination mechanism, joint management, joint support and maintenance. The release of such provisions means that the development of military-civilian integration on airport resources between the PLA Air Force and civil aviation has entered the implementation phase.
The pilot work of such development started at Lhasa Gonggar Airport and Wuxi Shuofang International Airport since April, 2015. Its main purpose was to establish a complementary management mechanism with smooth coordination and shared resources to gradually form a support capability that guarantees flight safety at peace times and meets combat needs at wartimes.
The pilot programs have made significant achievement after the exploration over the past one year. The two airports mentioned above are good examples of dual-use airports.
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is one of the world's highest dual-use airports. It provides important support for Tibet's economic development and national security in China’s Southwestern region.
On the one hand, as an important force in Tibet’s transportation, the airport has made great contributions to Tibet's economic construction. It has safely transported more than six million passengers in total since it was put into use. The cargo throughput also surpassed 140,000 tons.
On the other hand, the airport is an important channel to transport the PLA's new recruits and strategic materials to Tibet. The airport is also a major "airborne bridgehead" in Southwest China.
It has been found that the development of military-civilian integration of dual-use airports has very important practical significance and strategic benefits. First, the dual-use airports greatly save the cost of airport construction. Second, such airports bring great benefits to both the military and civilian sides.
For the PLA Air Force, dual-use airports can significantly improve the support capability of military airports. Such dual use can provide more footholds for the Air Force to deal with emergencies and future operations. For the civil aviation industry, the dual use can greatly lift its transportation capacity, expand the volume of passengers and cargo throughput, and alleviate current shortages in civil airports.
Practice has proved that the construction of dual-use airport is a win-win move. For this reason, construction for this purpose has extended to more airports in China. As of now, China has a total of 214 civil airports, one third of which are dual-use ones.