New air­port tak­ing shape south­ern Bei­jing

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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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