VIDEO / Daxing International – Beijing’s new mega airport – is officially open

The highly anticipated Chinese aviation hub, Beijing Daxing International (PKX), was officially opened today, September 25th, in advance of the 70th anniversary of founding the People’s Republic of China.

Located 42 miles south of the Chinese capital, the new mega airport has opened initially with 4 runways (this will increase to 7 runways: 6 civilian + 1 military) and a capacity for 45 million passengers per year, taking the strain off the current infrastructure, before further expansion increases this to well above 100 million passenger capacity. Nicknamed “Starfish” by Chinese media for its shape of 5 concourses connected to a main hall, Daxing aims to reduce walking for passengers, long a complaint about many new mega-hubs.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening, arriving at the huge airport just before noon, where press, dignitaries and airline representatives waited in place for more than 4 hours. Xi sat through a brief highlight reel of the airport’s design and construction followed by speeches filled with praise for the president. The Chinese leader was the last to speak, offering a brief, formal baptism: “I declare Beijing Daxing International Airport open”.

Construction of the new airport began at the end of 2014, and now features a 700,000sqm passenger terminal, and parking space for 268 aircraft. It has 4 runways, which could eventually increase to 6 (+1 military). The Civil Aviation Adminstration of China (CAAC) says that 101 domestic and 15 international routes are set to launch from the airport during the northern winter scheduling period.

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The inaugural flight from the new airport was performed by China Southern Airlines with an Airbus A380 to Guangzhou. By spring 2020, flights from Beijing Daxing will cover 112 destinations around the globe. Today, flights from other airlines – domestic flights, for the moment – are also scheduled at PKX. Customs and immigration are not yet operational, their booths being currently empty and free of computer screens. China Southern, China Eastern, Air China, Capital Airlines, Hebei Airlines and Xiamen Air have all operated domestic flights from the new airport on September 25th. British Airways, Finnair and LOT Polish Airlines will start running flights from the new airport next month.

Daxing’s official opening caps a long design and building process. Construction for the $11.5 billion project began in 2014, with more than 40,000 workers on site at its peak. Designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid and her Chinese partners, the airport is built for the future, boasting a terminal the size of 97 soccer pitches, as well as customer-service robots that provide travelers with flight updates and airport information. Daxing will cost USD11.2 billion to enter full-scale operations. It wants to welcome 45 million passengers a year by 2022, 72 million by 2025 and eventually over 100 million per year.

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IN PICTURES: Beijing’s new "starfish" airport has opened. The 4-runway Daxing International is expected to become one of the world’s busiest airports.(Photos: AFP/Reuters/AP)

Publicată de CNA pe Miercuri, 25 septembrie 2019

China officially opens its massive new airport in Beijing

China officially opens its massive new airport in Beijing, The new hub is expected to become the biggest single terminal by traveller capacity in around two decades.READ MORE:

Publicată de RT pe Miercuri, 25 septembrie 2019

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