Passengers walk through Terminal 2 of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. [Photo/Xinhua]
As China has become the world's second-largest aviation market, limited capacity has become a major bottleneck for many domestic airports, which are rushing to better tap their physical and digital resources.
The International Air Transport Association forecast that global passenger numbers will double in the next 20 years to 7.8 billion people, with half of all new passengers coming from the Asia-Pacific region, to which China will be a large contributor.
Wang Zhiqing, deputy administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, estimated the number of outbound Chinese tourists will exceed 700 million in the next few years.
"Such a huge consumer group will lay a solid foundation for the expansion of the aviation market," he said.
"China will have developed 130 new airports" to cope with the expansion, he said.
Wang made the remarks at the 24th World Route Development Forum, an international exhibition of airlines and airports. About 3,500 delegates from 115 countries gathered in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, for the three-day event.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, one of China's top three hub airports, is adding more facilities to cope with its surging traffic volume. Its passenger throughput and cargo volume accelerated 10 percent and 7.5 percent respectively last year.
The airport is building its third terminal and two more runways, which are expected to increase capacity by 120 million passengers and 3.8 million metric tons of cargo when completed.
Qiu Jiachen, chairman of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, said the airport's intelligentization is the key for its development, with the upgrade covering passenger services, security management and airport operation. The airport uses intelligent video monitoring, facial recognition, smart coordination systems and other advanced technologies.
Global delegates at the World Routes forum said they were impressed by China's airports, adding they look forward to cooperating in various areas.
"China's airports are fantastic in terms of technology and passenger flow," said Elizabeth Axtelius, director of aviation business at Swedavia Airports.