Heavy Fog and Smog Strand 20,000 at Chengdu International Airport

By Paul Riegler on 4 December 2016
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Unusually heavy fog and smog have resulted in flight cancellations that stranded over 20,000 travelers in Chengdu, China, according to reports in Chinese state-run media.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, diverted to other cities, or delayed as a result.

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is the major international airport serving Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan Province. It is located approximately ten miles (16 kilometers) southwest of downtown Chengdu and serves as a hub for Air China, Sichuan Airlines, and Chengdu Airlines. Multiple other airlines are based there including China Eastern and Tibet airlines, and United Airlines operates what is the only non-stop service from the United States to the city.

Via a tweet, CCTV, the primary state broadcaster in China, said that an orange alert for air pollution, with visibility of less than 650’ (200 meters) in some areas, had been issued for northern China.

The airport reported that its runways were closed for more than ten hours as a result of the fog and the World Air Quality Index put the city at 280, considered in a “very unhealthy” range.

Chengdu currently has more than 14 million people living in its greater metropolitan area and its history goes back over 4,000 years.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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