China flight paths obstructed by high-rises

Nearly 100 accidents at military airbases caused by tall buildings being put up in flight paths, state media reports.

    Buildings regularly violate height restrictions near military air bases in China [EPA]
    Buildings regularly violate height restrictions near military air bases in China [EPA]

    More than half of China's military airfields have flight paths that are obstructed by tall buildings, causing accidents and airport closures, Chinese state media has reported.

    Nearly 100 accidents have occurred at military air bases due to high-rise buildings and development in the past 20 years, the website of the ruling Communist Party's media outlet, the People's Daily, said on Friday.

    The problem has become so great that more than 10 military airfields have been forced to close or move.

    "With the continuous expansion of the scale of cities, a relatively large number of military air bases have merged with new city districts and development zones, leading to a deterioration in clean airspace," the website said.

    Requirements for "clean" airspace around military airports are more strict due to special training demands, it said, citing the People's Liberation Army General Staff Headquarters.

    There are more than 1,000 buildings that violate height restrictions near military air bases across China and some structures are built on landing and take-off flight paths, leading to serious safety problems, the news agency said.

    China's military frequently expresses concerns about urban development infringing upon its bases. China approved a law to strengthen protection of military bases in June.

    But China also recently relaxed restrictions on low-altitude flying in its mainly military-controlled airspace in a boost to the growing helicopter industry.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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