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China to open first phase of possibly world’s largest airport

Staff Writer | October 12, 2016
China is to complete the first phase of an expansive new airport in Beijing, which could eventually be the world’s largest, by 2019, officials said.
Beijing airport
Air traffic   A new airport in Beijing
Representatives of the Beijing New Airport project showed off the sprawling construction site, saying the city’s second major airport could serve 45 million passengers a year with four runways on first opening, while two later phases would push the capacity to 100 million passengers annually.

That would put the airport, to be the world’s largest in surface area, roughly in line with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest by annual passengers.

"Our worry isn’t whether or not we’ll have this many passengers but whether we’ll be able to satisfy demand," said Jia Zhiguo, an assistant general manager on the construction project.

The existing Beijing Capital International Airport, the world’s second-largest and owned by the same company building the new airport, is already operating well beyond its planned capacity, he added.

The airport is one of a raft of massive infrastructure spending projects being undertaken as China’s economy grows at its slowest pace in decades, despite pledges to shift away from infrastructure spending and heavy industry and toward a consumer and services driven economy.

China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines will relocate to the new airport upon completion and account for four-fifths of its air traffic, airport officials said.


 

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