Tight control of Chinese airspace gives Beijing worst record for flight delays

BEIJING – Chinese authorities have announced they will close Beijing’s two airports during a military parade next month to mark the anniversary of victory over Japan in World War II.

Flights will be banned or diverted for three hours from 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 3. to enable the victory parade to pass off smoothly and ensure flights safety, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement Saturday.

They affect Beijing Capital International Airport, the world’s second-busiest by passenger traffic, and Nanyuan airport, a former military airfield.

The lavish military parade is to feature aerial displays and China’s latest weaponry. The display of armed might has put off some invited countries from attending given ongoing tensions between China and Japan over wartime history and competing claims to islands in the East China Sea.

China’s fast growing air travel market is the world’s second biggest, but the heavy air traffic and tight control of airspace by the military have given it the world’s worst record for flight delays.


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