"Esta ciudad tiene tres aeropuertos."
Translation:This city has three airports.
Actually, NY has eight, London has six, and Paris has four. A number of cities worldwide have three, including Barcelona and Manila.
I have been taught that this kind of expression should be translated with an expression: something is/are/ lies somewhere -(there is/lies/stands XXX in/on/at... In this case : 'There are three airports in this city." Or: In this city there are..." By using the possessive 'to have' (tener) gives a faulty connotation that they somehow belongs to the city, are their property.
By using the possessive 'to have' (tener) gives a faulty connotation that they somehow belongs to the city, are their property.
Is this remark about translation or about writing/grammar?
If it's about writing, I agree with you. It does give the connotation that the airports belong to the city, which maybe is purposeful. This connotation is not only in English, but also in Spanish. Saying There are three airports in this city = Hay tres aeropuertos en esta ciudad gives another connotation (i.e. it's more neutral and only states that the airports exist in the city) in both language. Therefore, the given translation is correct, because it has the same meaning and connotations.