- Satellite imagery shows that China has begun building a runway on reclaimed parts of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands
- The imagery, provided by Airbus Defence and Space, also shows China building islands on Subi Reef that if linked up would provide enough land for another airstrip
The 23 March images show a paved section of runway 503 m by 53 m on the northeastern side of Fiery Cross Reef, which China began to turn into an island in late 2014. Paving and ground preparation of other sections of the runway has also begun further along the island. In addition, workers have paved about 400 m by 20 m of apron.
Other imagery taken in March also shows China could be building a second airstrip-capable island on Subi Reef.
China’s island building at Fiery Cross Reef has created a landmass that is capable of housing a runway about 3,000 m long. This would be well within the parameters of existing People’s Liberation Army Air Force runways on mainland China, which vary in length from about 2,700 m to 4,000 m at most.
Full article: China’s first runway in Spratlys under construction (IHS Jane’s 360)