DATONG Aviation College

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Datong is a city in China’s Shanxi province. Its general aviation airport was originally built in 1959 and has had a long history of training pilots, performing tasks like agriculture and forestry, emergency rescuing and medical missions, etc. Recently, the original airport’s site is overtaken by a high-speed rail connecting several cities including Datong with Beijing. So with funding from China Railway, the airport is relocated to a new site on the south side of the city. A brand new runway is built, much longer and wider than the old one, along with hangers and other facilities replacing the old ones they had.

With the new airport, the provincial government is planning for a formal college near the airport. The college will have both aeronautic and aviation components, dedicated to both types of research as well as the training of pilots and other aviation industry professionals.

SAAN was invited by the airport authority and Datong’s municipal government to provide pre-design assistance planning for this college. We completed a preliminary project study report, which included a precedent analysis, site analysis, and a draft program. We compared this school to world-famous aviation schools such as Purdue Aviation College and suggested a conceptual layout for the college.

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