A number of international aviation hubs - such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'an, Kunming and Urumchi - are emerging in the western part of China. Such hubs are developing rapidly and attracting much attention. However, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is, undoubtedly, one of the most promising in terms of its position in the country's strategy, development momentum and resource conditions.
"Chongqing, as the only municipality in the central and western regions of China, has outstanding regional advantages and strategic significance, and is a key strategic pivot for the development of the western regions," stated Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visited Chongqing in 2016 for inspection and guidance of work. "It plays a unique and important role in China's regional development and opening-up strategies." This highlights the important position and role that Chongqing plays in the development of China.
As an inland city, Chongqing bears an important strategic role in China. Aviation acts as a major driving force for Chongqing's opening-up and leading role in regional development. The passenger throughput of Chongqing Airport in 2017 reached 38.71 million, and the compound average growth rate of the past five years was up to 11.9%, indicating a strong growth momentum. At present, Chongqing Airport has opened 72 international routes, including 15 long-distance international passenger routes and 14 international freight routes. It has established an international route network leading to five continents, and thus set up a convenient 'air-bridge' for the inland areas of China to conduct foreign exchanges.
In addition, the new Terminal 3 and the third runway that Chongqing Airport has put into use have made it the only largescale hub airport featuring the simultaneous operation of three runways in the central and western regions of China. This will provide continuous and abundant ground and time resources for future development. Moreover, the comprehensive transportation hub of Terminal 3 has integrated multiple ground transportation modes such as high-speed rail, long-distance vehicles and metros, and has helped the airline to expand market coverage. On the other hand, self-help baggage checkin, paperless boarding passes, visual transport of arrival baggage, self-service check and clearance, and other new smart technology applications also contribute to more comfortable and convenient travel experience of passengers.
In the future, Chongqing Airport will also develop more passenger and freight routes leading to Europe, Africa and South Asia. With the rapid development of international routes, Chongqing Airport will undoubtedly become an important window for the world to see more of western China.