BEIJING – The world’s largest single-terminal airfield became operational Wednesday in China’s capital five days ahead of schedule and four years after construction started in 2015.
Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the Beijing-Daxing Airport a week before the country marks 70 years since the People’s Republic of China was founded, on Oct. 1.
The airport has five floors and covers 103 square kilometers (about 40 square miles.)
It is also the first airport to have two floors exclusively dedicated to passenger arrivals – one for domestic flights and one for international flights – and two others for departures.
Foreign airlines operating from the airfield include AeroMexico, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, Aeroflot, KLM and British Airways – with direct flights to London – as well as major Chinese airlines such as China Eastern and China Southern.
While interacting with the press during a guided tour in March, the project’s general manager, Li Yianhua, explained that the airport’s radio design would allow passengers to reach any gate in six minutes after passing security.
According to its promoters, one of the reasons for the airport’s construction was to decongest the Beijing Capital International Airport, which for the first time crossed the 100-million yearly passenger mark in 2018.
The Chinese authorities expect the new airport to receive 72 million yearly passengers by 2025, a figure they expect will increase to 100 million in the longer term.
Moreover, Daxing is the first airport in the world to have a high-speed underground railway station.
Joint investment in all its areas – terminal, high-speed station, highway and surrounding area – amounted to 400 billion yuan ($59.6 billion.)
This new airport – 45 kilometers (28 miles) south of the capital and 67 kilometers from Beijing Capital International Airport – is expected to be the nerve center of the economic zone made up of Beijing, Tianjin and the northeastern province of Hebei.