Fu­ture of air travel shapes up


In­te­rior work pro­gresses at Bei­jing Dax­ing In­ter­na­tional Air­port in south­ern Dax­ing district on Satur­day. The fa­cil­ity, which will be the cap­i­tal’s sec­ond ma­jor in­ter­na­tional air­port, is set to open by Sept 30, of­fi­cials said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

Bei­jing Dax­ing In­ter­na­tional Air­port, an 80 bil­lion yuan ($11.6 bil­lion) con­struc­tion project that should im­prove in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion and boost the lo­cal econ­omy, is ex­pected to open by Sept 30, a se­nior of­fi­cial an­nounced on Thurs­day.

Eighty per­cent of the in­te­rior con­struc­tion has been com­pleted and all of the ex­ter­nal con­struc­tion has been fin­ished, ac­cord­ing to the new Bei­jing air­port’s of­fice. The wa­ter sup­ply pipe­line net­work and trans­former sub­sta­tions for elec­tric­ity are ready.

The nat­u­ral gas pipe­line is be­ing built and will soon be put into use, said Cui Xiao­hao, deputy head of the Bei­jing Com­mis­sion of Devel­op­ment and Re­form and deputy di­rec­tor of the air­port of­fice.

“The new air­port will help the cap­i­tal to serve in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers bet­ter when it opens,” he said. “Given the strong re­gional trans­porta­tion net­work be­tween Bei­jing, Tian­jin and He­bei, one can reach Bei­jing’s down­town cen­ter, Bei­jing’s (gov­ern­men­tal) sub cen­ter in Tongzhou district and Xion­gan New Area within half an hour and go to nearby cities in­clud­ing Tian­jin, Shi­ji­azhuang, Tang­shan and Baod­ing within an hour af­ter ar­riv­ing at the air­port.”

“The air­port will pro­vide trans­porta­tion con­ve­nience for the in­te­grated devel­op­ment of Bei­jing, Tian­jin and He­bei prov­ince,” he said.

The new air­port, which is ex­pected to be­come North China’s air travel hub, is sit­u­ated on the border of Bei­jing and Lang­fang, He­bei prov­ince. It is 46 kilo­me­ters from Tian’an­men Square, 26 km from down­town Lang­fang, 55 km from the Xion­gan New Area and 67 km from Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Its con­struc­tion adopted green and en­ergy-sav­ing con­cepts.

Zhang Ru, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the air­port con­struc­tion head­quar­ters, said the ter­mi­nal’s de­sign in­cor­po­rates nat­u­ral light as much as pos­si­ble, and many other tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions were used in build­ing the in­te­grated trans­porta­tion net­work around the air­port.

“The project in­cludes ... (seven) in­te­grated trans­porta­tion net­works, which will com­bine high­way, in­ter­city rail, high-speed rail and sub­ways, with the air­port at the cen­ter,” she said.

Pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing through Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port ex­ceeded 100 mil­lion in 2018, ac­cord­ing to the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Civil Avi­a­tion, which is close to its limit.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­dicted that pas­sen­ger num­bers through the cap­i­tal will reach 150 mil­lion by 2025.

The new air­port — with four run­ways and a 700,000 square me­ter ter­mi­nal — will help to meet the de­mand and im­prove the global flight net­work. It is ex­pected to be the world’s largest.

The air­port is de­signed to han­dle 72 mil­lion pas­sen­gers, 20 mil­lion met­ric tons of cargo and mail, and 620,000 take­offs and land­ings an­nu­ally by 2025. There are long-term plans to ex­pand the pas­sen­ger num­ber to 100 mil­lion an­nu­ally.

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