China Opens Beijing Daxing International Airport
China’s futuristic airport resembling a giant starfish opened today in Beijing Wednesday, Sep. 26th, unveiling the world’s largest single terminal in terms of traveler capacity. In another massive Chinese infrastructure project just days before celebrating its 70th National Day.
It is seen as an embodiment of the “Chinese dream” quoting President Xi Jinping from the opening ceremony.
Designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016. The airport sits at soaring growth at 700,000 square meters (173 acres) about the size of 100 football pitches the new structure will be one of the world’s largest airport terminals.
The airport inside stands out for its flowing, curved lines and use of natural light that filters down to the lowest levels of the building through openings on the roof.
Underneath the terminal is a train station and metro line that will allow travelers to reach the city center in 20 minutes.
Beijing Daxing International Airport is located 46 kilometers (29 miles) south of Tiananmen Square, it will operate at full capacity in 2040, with eight runways and the potential to receive 100 million passengers per year.
Beijing Daxing is assigned the airport IATA code: PKX and ICAO code: ZBAD
Both foreign and domestic carriers have plans to move their operations to the new airport, and British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Finnair have already announced new routes to tap into the potential of the modern aviation hub.
The SkyTeam alliance – which includes Delta, Air France, and Dutch airline KLM – was also expected to move, along with local partners Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.
The third-largest Chinese airline, Air China, is expected to keep flying the bulk of its flights from Beijing Capital International Airport.
The project cost 120 billion yuan ($17.5 billion), or 400 billion yuan if rail and road links are included.
At full capacity, Daxing would be the world’s largest single terminal in terms of traveler capacity, according to its designers.
In comparison, Atlanta airport in the United States – the world’s busiest airport – can receive more than 100 million passengers, but across two terminals.
The current Beijing Capital International Airport – the world’s second-largest airport – is already overflowing, with just over 100 million passengers annually.
China is expected to surpass the US to become the world’s biggest aviation market by the mid-2020s, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Sources: Yahoo News, CCTV 4