Jan. 11 – As China Briefing revealed back in June last year, Beijing is to have a third airport built at Daxing, to the south of the capital. The plan has been approved by the Central Government and is to be included as a key project in the forthcoming Five-Year-Plan due for release in March.
The new airport is expected to be completed in 2015 and will relieve existing pressure on Beijing’s Capital International Airport – currently the world’s second busiest airport behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with over 70 million passengers traveling through annually. The addition of the new air facilities as Daxing, combined with the massive Beijing Capital International Airport and the small Beijing Nanyuan Airport, brings a total of three commercial airports in Beijing.
Beijing Nanyuan Airport was converted from PLA use a few years ago and now services a number of domestic commercial flights, primarily through China United Airlines. Sited about 20 kilometers south of Tiananmen and servicing flights to 22 other Chinese cities, Nanyuan has grown by 120 percent in terms of passenger throughput over the past year.
Plans for Daxing to site an airport are not new, with the government previously considering developing the site to help cater for the 2008 Beijing Olympics traffic. However, the decision was made instead to build the new Terminal Three at Beijing Capital International Airport as an alternative.
Beijing is also set to announce several more high-speed rail lines to service both the Daxing and Capital airports, with links also expected to Tianjin, Shenyang, Shijiazhuang and Shanghai from both. Other plans include extending Beijing’s subway system to 600 kilometers, up from the current 561 kilometers.