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Home / World / Beijing's Daxing Airport: Huge new facility trying to keep up with crowded skies

Beijing's Daxing Airport: Huge new facility trying to keep up with crowded skies




A construction crew works at the main terminal of Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is expected to be one of the busiest airports in the world. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese capital unveiled a new airport terminal covering some 200 football pitches in the floor space, with a capacity of 50 million passengers per year. and cost $ 4 billion.

Compared to what will be opened next, that's modest.

The crews give the airport one of the largest and busiest airports. Designed by former British architect Zaha Hadid, the Beijing Daxing International Airport, with its Phoenix shapes, is set to open in September as China's latest major project, even as the country's economy cools.

Officials say the $ 12 billion Daxing Airport could someday be More than 100 million passengers a year serve the traffic of the busiest airport in the world, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The farmland, located about 80 kilometers south of the center of Beijing, proves that the new transportation hub is a testament to the growth of civil aviation in China, which is expected to overtake the US as the largest market in the coming years, and the government's vision to expand its industrial north through infrastructure investments.

Construction began in 2014, before China's economy slowed down. However, the project is in line with the priorities of President Xi Jinping, whose government continues to spend a lot of money on infrastructure and transportation as key development drivers.

The country invested $ 120 billion and $ 12 billion in railways and civil aviation in 2018, according to traffic officials.

The capital's main airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, northeast of the city, has been experiencing maximum capacity and delays for years, said Yi Wei, deputy chief planning officer for Daxing Airport

" It's heavily overloaded, "said Yi. "We are basically assuming that around 400 flights will be dropped every day due to air traffic control approval."


Daxing Airport is part of a project to create a new economic zone south of Beijing in Hebei Province. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

The number of Chinese airmen has risen so fast that the airports can not compete.

Annual passenger traffic was 1.26 billion in 2018, an increase of 10.2 percent over the previous year, according to the Chinese aviation authority. China will overtake the United States as the world's largest aviation market by 2022, two years earlier than predicted, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Industry analysts say that a new airport is urgently needed, but the long-standing problem of delays can not be solved. China has some of the strictest controls of flying in bad weather and often causes mass crashes during thunderstorms.

It also has some of the strictest controls in civil airspace. Only a quarter of the airspace of the country is open to civil jets, the rest is reserved for the military. In the United States, this ratio is reversed.

The new airport in Beijing's far south is also part of a major Chinese government project to develop the plane, which includes the cities of Beijing and Tianjin and the smog-covered Hebei Province Daxing Airport is located in the center of the new economic zone and will be on rail According to Xiong & # 39; an, a rural town in Hebei Province, where China is located, it will be possible to relocate many of the "non-core" centers of the central government, thereby essentially creating secondary capital from scratch.


The airport was designed by British architect Zaha Hadid. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

Cao Yunchun, a professor at the Department of Airport Economics of China's Civil Aviation University in Tianjin, said the new airport will boost development in relatively poor south of Beijing and nearby Hebei Province.

"In the future, the area will be a hub for the flow of people, the flow of movement, the flow of goods, the flow of capital and the flow of technology," he said.

The new The airport is to be available to passengers from 28 cities who could reach the airport within three hours by high-speed rail.

It has four runways and a 3.37 million square meter terminal building with 72 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo annually by 2025. Long-term plans include more than 100 million passengers and 4 million tons of freight with six runways in operation.

Daxing's expected passenger traffic would make this one of the most important factors world-wide most busy airports. By comparison, Atlanta airport handled 107 million passengers in 2018 – the world's largest passenger – followed by Beijing's 101 million capital city and Dubai International Airport with 89 million according to the Airports Council International.


A security guard at Daxing Airport, which is expected to serve 100 million passengers per year. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

Daxing airport officials say the project has fueled domestic industry and economics.

"The general contracting is carried out by ourselves. We did not work with international companies, "said project manager Li Jianhua. "Most appliances are manufactured domestically. Most materials are made domestically.

Daxing Airport is nicknamed "The Starfish" (Five Stars) by the Chinese media. There will be five traditional Chinese gardens where passengers can wait for their flights.

According to Li, the prosperity of the dragons and the phoenix is ​​brought. The new airport is phoenix-shaped, in contrast to the already existing dragon-inspired Beijing airport.