China has started a CNY33.44bn ($4.9bn) expansion project at Zhongchuan International Airport in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province.

The project is the third phase of the overall expansion programme at the airport as local authorities seek to redevelop the facility as an air transport corridor along the Silk Road, reported Xinhua.

Under the expansion project, two new runways and a terminal will be developed.

Once complete, Zhongchuan Airport will have a total of three runways and three terminals.

The expansion project will enable the airport to handle 38 million passengers and 300,000t of cargo per year, the news agency added, citing Ye Zhangquan, head of the engineering management department for the expansion project.

Reuters recently reported that China is planning to inoculate aviation industry workers with experimental Covid-19 vaccines.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China requested Chinese airlines, airports, China National Aviation Fuel Group and TravelSky Technology to prepare a list of employees who will volunteer for the programme, the news agency reported citing a notice.

The move is aimed to boost immunity among frontline workers and prevent another outbreak of the Covid-19 disease as economies gradually reopen.

Several airlines, including Air China, China Southern Airlines and Juneyao Airlines, confirmed receiving such notices from the regulator.

Currently, China has four potential Covid-19 vaccines in the final stage of human trials.

However, the report did not clarify which vaccine candidate will be administered on the participants and how many people will take part in the programme.