Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the official opening of Beijing Daxing International Airport. The huge air hub is expected to become the largest single terminal of travelers capacity in about two decades.
The Chinese leader and top government officials attended the opening ceremony inside the starfish-shaped terminal on Wednesday, days before the country marks the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The opening was originally scheduled for September 30.
Located 46 kilometers from Beijing's Tiananmen Square, the airport, abbreviated PKX, is expected to boost tourism and further support China's main infrastructure project, the Belt and Route Initiative. Daxing airport will also reduce pressure on overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport, the world's second largest air hub.
Building the mega-airport cost the Chinese government about $ 17.47 billion in total, according to the airport's website. The terminal building alone covers 700,000 square meters.
The new hub will be able to handle about 45 million passengers per year by 2021 and 72 million by 2025. The airport is planned to expand from four to seven runways in total and service about 620,000 flights annually, or one flight. per minute.
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By 2040, the hub wants to handle 100 million passengers a year, making it the world's largest single terminal in terms of passenger capacity. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport currently has the world's busiest airport crown, serving 100 million travelers, but they are split between its two terminals.
China Southern Airlines, one of China's "Big Three" airlines (along with Air China and China Eastern Airlines), is expected to move to the new airport and will account for nearly 30% of the hub's total flights. About 50 foreign airlines, including British Airways and Finnair, also plan to transfer part of their operations to Daxing in the near future.
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