HOHHOT, Dec. 17 -- Three commuter airports in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region started operations on Tuesday.
The three airports in Alashan League operated by the Inner Mongolia Civil Airport Group Co., Ltd. are Bayinhot in Alashan Left Banner, Badaijiran in Alashan Right Banner and Taorai in Ejinai Banner.
On Tuesday, a passenger aircraft flew from Alashan Left Banner to Ejinai Banner and then to Alashan Right Banner before returning to Bayinhot airport, according to Li Wei with the company.
Another Xinzhou-60 passenger aircraft took off at 11:17 a.m. Tuesday from Bayinhot for Hohhot, the regional capital, said Li, general manager of the Alashan commuter airport company. Currently, the two domestic airlines -- Okair and Joyair -- use aircraft with around 50 seats.
Construction of the three airports in the first commuter aviation project began in August 2012 with a total investment of 390 million yuan (64 million U.S. dollars).
Besides flights to the other two airports, Bayinhot will also have flights to Hohhot and Tianjin in the beginning stage.
According to plan, the passenger throughput at Bayinhot, Badaijiran and Taorai airports will reach 250,000, 45,000 and 80,000 respectively by 2020.
Located in western Inner Mongolia, Alashan League has an area of 272,000 square kilometers and a population of 230,000. Transport in the remote region has affected local economic development.