NGARI, Tibet, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Gunsa Airport in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region started operation Thursday, becoming the fourth civil airport on the "Roof of the World."
An Airbus 319 landed at Gunsa Airport, in Ngari Prefecture, at 10:20 a.m., marking the airport's formal opening.
The airport sits more than 4,200 meters above sea level and has a 4,500-meter runway. Its annual throughput capacity is expected to reach 120,000 passengers by 2020.
Construction of the airport began in May 2007 and cost an estimated 1.65 billion yuan (241.22 million U.S. dollars).
It is the fourth operational civil airport in Tibet after Gonggar Airport in Lhasa, Bamda Airport in Qamdo Prefecture and Nyingchi Airport.
A fifth airport, Peace Airport in Xigaze, is expected to open in October.
Exactly four years ago, China opened a landmark railway linking Tibet with major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.