China will build a cluster of world-class airports in the northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to improve connectivity and push forward coordinated regional development.
By 2030, major airports in the region will be effectively connected with railways to establish a strong and coordinated air transport system, according to a guideline released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The region will offer 144-hour visa-free entry for international passengers, while air cargo will enjoy efficient one-stop customs clearance as authorities promise to improve both airport service and management, the guideline said.
For Beijing, with the existing Beijing Capital International Airport and a new airport expected in service in 2019, the national capital is counting on the "twin hubs" to strengthen aviation capabilities with a focus on international flights.
The government also plans to build Tianjin airport into an international air freight hub, while the one in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, will handle regional flights, it said.
Other regional airports in cities including Tangshan, Zhangjiakou and Handan will be reconstructed or expanded, while new airports will be built in cities like Xingtai, Cangzhou, Kangbao and Fengning.
To ensure regional connectivity, these airports will be linked with inter-city transport networks, including a railway service between Beijing's two airports, and railways and highways connecting the Xiongan New Area, a landmark new economic zone, with other key parts of the region.
The regional transport network will be equipped with smart technology such as big data and ticket information sharing to let passengers take air-rail connecting trips with easy transfer between airports and railway stations, the document said.
China rolled out a plan in 2015 for the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Progress has been made in many fields including environmental protection, public services and transport.