Beijing opens second international airport, Daxing
Beijing has officially opened an international airport, complementing its existing airport.
Daxing’s construction was prompted in part by the fact that the world’s second busiest airport is at or near capacity. Beijing Capital International Airport sees over 100mn passengers passing through yearly, served by three runways. That number of passengers is likely to drop as Daxing shoulders some of the burden.
Appropriately for its name, which means “starfish” in Chinese, the airport’s design features a central hub with a number of protrusions, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The building serves as one centralised terminal, cutting down
The airport was formally opened on the 25th by Chinese Leader Xi Jinping, before opening for passengers on the 26th. Vice Premier Han Zheng was quoted in the South China Morning Post as saying: “Xi Jinping attaches particular importance to and has personally encouraged the development of Daxing International Airport, a major engineering project that is symbolic of the capital. It will significantly improve the global competitiveness of national airlines, promote our country’s continued opening up to the wider world, and ease pressure on Beijing’s facilities.”
Daxing is both the largest and the most expensive airport in the world, at $11.2bn and with a 700,000 square metre terminal and four runways. Multiple stages of scaling up are intended, with a throughput of 72mn passengers targeted for 2025 and 100mn for 2040.
116 air routes are to be operated at the airport, with 16 airlines stationed there, including China Southern, China Eastern and Air China. China’s Global Times quoted figures suggesting China would become the world’s largest aviation market by 2025 – already 1.26bn passengers pass through Chinese airports.
Chinese airport construction has been ramping up massively as part of a top-down plan for civil aviation development. 200 airports are planned to be built over the next 20 years, reaching 450 by 2035.
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