On May 18th, China completed its first short-distance verification flight from high-altitude airports in sparsely populated Qinghai province. A Beechcraft King Air 350 flight route test aircraft was successfully flown on the route from Delingha to Golmud then Huatugou and back to Delingha in relatively poor weather.
Delingha Airport in Qinghai Provinceis at 9,843 feet msl, while Golmud is at 9,334 feet, and Huatugou at a lower altitude of 2,945 feet.
These tests will help pave the way for other aircraft to begin serving routes such as the one tested, using, for example, China’s indigenous Comac ARJ-21 and the Embraer E190-E2. Earlier tests last year saw a “basic service plan” proved at Haixi Airport in Qinghai province.
China’s 13th five-year plan included goals for short-distance transportation and plans to expand service and reduce airport restrictions.
To that end, Qinghai Airport Company plans to continue to cultivate new markets for short-distance aviation transportation in the Chinese plateau region, including creation of an interconnected air bridge between airports in the province. This is all part of the promotion of the basic aviation service plan of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.