Daocheng Yading Airport in southwest China's Sichuan Province, the world's highest-altitude civilian airport, is expected to start operating on Sept. 16, local tourism authorities announced on Tuesday.
The airport, located in Daocheng County, Garzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, will cut the traffic time between the county and the provincial capital of Chengdu from two days by bus to 65 minutes by plane, according to the prefecture tourism bureau.
The airport, located 4,411 meters above sea level, will initially open a daily route from Chengdu to Daocheng. The cost of a one-way ticket will be 1,600 yuan (259.7 U.S. dollars), according to the bureau.
Routes connecting Daocheng with Chongqing Municipality, a southwest Chinese business hub and Maerkang County, capital of Sichuan's Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture are expected to open before Oct. 1.
Routes connecting the county to the mega-cities of Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xi'an are expected to open in 2014.
The airport is 159 km from Yading Nature Reserve in the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
For its scenery, Yading is known as "the last Shangri-La" and "the last pure land on the blue planet."
Bangda Airport of Qamdo in Tibet, located 4,334 meters above sea level, previously held the record as the world's highest-altitude airport.