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Home / World / China's first airport closes its doors in Beijing after 109 years

China's first airport closes its doors in Beijing after 109 years



Beijing (CNN) – When Beijing's new multi-billion dollar airport was opened with great enthusiasm last Wednesday, a piece of China's history quietly closed its doors on the other side of the city.

The first of the country Nanyuan Airport finally closed its gates on 25th September. At this time, the new Daxing Airport, worth $ 11.5 billion, was opened by President Xi Jinping.

The last flight, China United Airlines KN5830, started shortly after 10pm. state media said. On Saturday the doors were tightly closed and the parking lot mostly left.

The few remaining dusty cars had a polite note on the side window. "Hello, this airport officially moved to Daxing International Airport on September 25. I want to thank you again for trusting Nanyuan Airport," the statement says.

Nanyuan was opened in 1

910, 109 years ago, when China was still ruled by the Qing Dynasty. There were two world wars, the Civil War in China and finally the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

According to the State-owned China Daily, Nanyuan will be an aviation museum, into which all practical functions will be relocated Daxing Airport.

Externally, the two could not be more different.

Daxing, designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, is elegant and high-tech. Nanyuan is far more rundown, with a brutally practical square shape and traces of rust.

Nonetheless, the Beijing citizens poured into the old terminal days after its closure to honor a piece of the city's history. [3359005] 33-year-old Xiang Wang visited the airport on Saturday, the first weekend after his closure, with his children and partner, and took photos next to government-issued historical exhibits.

here, "he said.

  Wang Xiang and his baby daughter pose in front of a sign commemorating the closure of Beijing's Nanyuan Airport on September 29.

Wang Xiang and his baby daughter pose in front of a sign recalling the closure on 29 September at Nanyuan Airport in Beijing

CNN / Ben Westcott

Wang, a doctoral student at Tsinghua University, deeply regretted that he had not received a plane ticket for the last flight from Nanyuan , and was jealous of his classmates who did not work here.

"We have feelings for this place," he said. "It's sad that Nanyuan is gone … I brought my 1 year old son here , He probably will not understand what I tell him about it, but he will have the memories. "

Nanyuan has experienced some crucial moments in Chinese history, and after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the first squadron of the Communist Air Force flew Tiananmen flew over from Nanyuan.
In 1971, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger secretly flew to China. When he arranged for President Richard Nixon's historic visit, he landed at Nanyuan Airport.
  An abandoned guard post at Nanyuan Airport Beijing, which closed its doors this week.

An abandoned guard at Beijing's Nanyuan Airport, which closed its doors this week.

CNN / Ben Westcott

Chunqian Yin, a 34-year-old accountant, brought her son to the airport so that it could be part of the historical moment.

"I will miss this airport very much. I used to see airplanes flying around here, but now I will not be able to do that, "she said.

Outside the museum, there was an exhibition with a countdown to the closure of the airport, which Yin claims to have visited regularly

Yin, however, said she also philosophically considered the closure of the airport, after all, she said, the area may now experience a construction boom.

"New things will not come if old things do not go," she said .


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