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China To Invest $17 Billion In Aviation Sector

China airlines.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jul 15, 2006
China plans to spend 17.4 billion dollars on its aviation sector in the next five years, buying 430 new airplanes and building 42 new airports, a government commission said Friday. The growth means mainland China's air transport sector will be the second biggest in the world after the United States, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a statement.

Countries are ranked based on the number of passengers and tons of cargo flown annually. China currently is the third biggest air market.

The demand for air travel is driven by China's rapid economic growth, its people's increasing affluence, and a greater desire to travel domestically and overseas, as well as booming exports and imports.

European airplane manufacturer Airbus has forecast China's air travel sector will grow by 8 percent a year for the next two decades while Boeing forecast a 7.3 percent annual growth rate.

Boeing predicted China would need 2,600 new planes over the 20-year period, while Airbus sees the market at about 1,800 new aircraft, not counting regional smaller aircraft.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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NASA Balloon Flight Successful At Esrange Space Center
Esrange, Sweden (SPX) Jul 17, 2006
NASA's high-altitude balloon mission carrying the scientific instrument TRACER has been successfully completed. The balloon was launched July 8 from the Swedish Space Corp. launch facility at Esrange Space Center. It drifted over the Atlantic Ocean toward North America, where it landed over the weekend.

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