Cloud-seeding aircraft have successfully landed at the Zhijiang Airport, also known as Chihchiang Airfield, in a trial operation, Fan Zhichao, a senior engineer with the provincial weather modification office said.

He said the airport's new mission is an important part of the efforts in Hunan to fight severe droughts in recent years.
    
China extensively uses cloud seeding to beat dry weather in different parts of the country.
    
In Beijing, rockets with silver iodide, the commonly used could seeding chemical are routinely fired to cause precipitation in clouds.
    
Built in 1936, the airport was once home to the American Volunteer Group known as the Flying Tigers and played a key role in China's fight against the invading Japanese during World War II.
    
"The Zhijiang Airport still needs to fix some facilities for its new service, but we are happy to have it as our new base anyway," said Fan.
    
Zhijiang airport joins another airport in Changsha, the provincial capital, as a base of operations for artificial precipitation.
    
"It's far more than enough considering the droughts worsening in recent years. Plus, the need of cloud seeding is mounting because of smog," said Fan.
    
Despite nearly 2,000 artificial rainfall operations, Hunan saw the worst drought in decades in 2013, which led more to than three million people experiencing water supply shortages and a direct economic loss of more than 11 billion yuan (USD 1.79 billion), according to the provincial government.

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