BEIJING, July 25 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 reported on Friday.
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 mouthpiece, the People's
Daily said (www.people.cn).
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. [ID: nL4N0PI1RU]
Air safety has been in focus internationally after a series
of deadly crashes around the world in recent weeks.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Paul Tait)