As the West turns East to make its fortune, fliers – both international and domestic – are flowing through Chinese airports in unprecedented numbers. For the past four years, Beijing’s Capital International Airport has been nipping at the heels of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International to take the title as the busiest airport on the planet. However, if Capital’s growth doesn’t eclipse Atlanta soon, it stands to lose much of its luster by the end of this decade to the megaport the Chinese are building at nearby Daxing.
Mimicking the growth of China’s economy itself, the country’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) has set its sights on building a startling 82 new airports across this vast land. The goal: to give nine-tenths of the nation’s populace access to air service by 2020.
However, perhaps more instructive than trying to peer into the murky future for Chinese aviation is to take a quick glance