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New airport taking shape southern Beijing

Updated: 2016-10-11 07:52
By Zhao Lei (China Daily)

China will soon finish construction of basic infrastructure for the new international airport in Beijing, which is expected to serve 45 million passengers annually starting in 2019, project managers said.

Li Jianhua, executive manager of the airport terminal project at Beijing Urban Construction Group, told reporters on Monday at the site that the terminal structure will be completed before the end of January and the building's facade will be ready before the end of next year.

He said about 60 percent of the terminal's concrete work was finished.

The airport is planned for completion in May 2019 and will start trial operations late that year, Li said.

Zhu Wenxin, spokesman for the Beijing New Airport Construction Headquarters, said the facility, which will cost nearly 80 billion yuan ($13.1 billion), is designed to handle around 45 million passengers each year from 2019 to 2025.

After 2025 when the facility is fully developed, it will be able to handle 72 million passengers, 2 million metric tons of cargo and 620,000 flights annually, he said, adding that the government plans to expand passenger capacity to more than 100 million per year in the future.

Airport construction began in December 2014 but the facility has not been given an official name. It is located between Beijing's Daxing district and the suburbs of Hebei's Langfang city. It is 46 kilometers south of Beijing's center. Straight-line distance to Beijing Capital International Airport is 67 km.

A 66-km rapid transit rail line will be built linking northern Beijing to the new airport in the south, passing underground through the center of the city.

Once the rail is completed, passengers will need only about 30 minutes to get from the airport to central Beijing.

Currently, Beijing has two airports that serve commercial flights - Beijing Capital International and Beijing Nanyuan International.

Two of the four biggest Chinese air carriers, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines - currently at Beijing Capital - will move their main operations to the new facility and will account for four-fifths of its traffic.

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