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Tibet's fifth civil airport to be operational in Oct.

The fifth civil airport in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is expected to start operating in October, a local aviation official said Saturday.

Construction of the Peace Airport in Xigaze prefecture began in April last year and would be completed in September, making its opening in October feasible, said Xu Bo, director of the Civil Aviation Administration's Tibet Branch.

With an investment of 489 million yuan (71.7 million U.S. dollars), the airport would be able to handle 230,000 passengers and 1,150 tonnes of cargos and allow 2,580 take-offs and landings annually by 2020.

It is believed the project will boost investment and tourism in Xigaze, the second largest city in Tibet. Xigaze is home to a group of ancient temples and the world's highest peak, Mount Qomolangma, in Dingri County.

It would be the fifth civil airport in Tibet, after those in Lhasa, Qamdo, Nyingchi and Ngari. Tibet also plans to build the world's highest airport at an altitude of 4,436 meters in Nagqu Prefecture.