Beijing opens second international airport

Beijing Daxing International Airport. Photo: Tu Lei/GT. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BEIJING, Sep 25, 2019, Global Times. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday announced the official operation of the Beijing Daxing International Airport, a mega airport in the south of Beijing, China’s new gate to the world, reported the Global Times.

At a cost of 80 billion yuan ($11.2 billion) and with an expected passenger flow of 100 million, Beijing Daxing International Airport has opened to the public after 45 months of construction.

The official operation of the Beijing Daxing International Airport marks Beijing aviation’s entry into the era of dual hubs, authorities with the new airport said.

The successful launch of the new airport also represents the official formation of the “two cities and three airports of tens of millions of passenger flow” pattern in Beijing and North China’s Tianjin Municipality – the first such pattern in the history of China’s civil aviation industry, the authorities noted.

A total of seven airlines will send their star aircraft on their first flights on Wednesday afternoon, including China Southern Airlines’ A380, China Eastern Airlines’ A350 and Air China’s Boeing 747-8.

There will be 16 airlines companies stationed at the Daxing airport after flights commence. A total of 116 air routes will be opened, including 101 domestic and 15 global routes.

The airport, which has four runways, parking space for 150 airplanes and a terminal building of 700,000 square meters, is expected to have a passenger turnover of 130 million per year.

Passengers do not need to show any documents or boarding passes during security checks at the Daxing airport, as the new system allows facial recognition for check-in and security.

China Eastern Airlines will put 200 large- and medium-sized aircraft into operation at the new airport, connecting the Americas, Europe, Oceania, Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, as well as China’s Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to the Chinese mainland.

Mega airports in China’s major cities are generally reaching their capacity saturation points, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

In 2018, the total annual passenger throughput reached 1.26 billion at China’s civil airports, growing at an annual average of 11 percent over the past 10 years.

By the end of 2018, China had 235 civil airports, including 37 with at least 10 million passengers annually. Among these, 10 were at the 30 million level.

China is now the world’s second-largest civil aviation market. It is forecast to become the largest by around 2025, according to the International Air Transport Association.

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