Beijing is well underway to constructing the world’s largest airport. With an opening date set for 2019, the new International Airport will be located in the southern city district of Daxing. The 80 billion Yuan ($15b AUD) airport is one of a series of massive infrastructure spending projects by China, as their economy grows at its slowest pace in decades.
The terminal was designed by renown architect Zaha Hadid. The structure adopts a 6-pier radial design, giving exceptional functionality and connectivity to passengers to move about quickly. International and domestic will be spread vertically by levels instead of horizontally by distance. You can read more about the design here
The airport will feature a whopping SEVEN runways, enough to handle the 100 million passengers that are expected to pass through each year. Run those numbers through a standard A320 and you’ve got 120 flights per hour – or 1 flight every 30 seconds! The airport won’t stop at seven either, with space for nine runways – minus one for military purposes only. It’s clear Beijing understands the greater need for air travel in the future as their middle-class population grows and looks to go abroad.
Underneath the terminal will be a full-service train station, including a high-speed bullet train. The train line will reach 41 kilometres, at a speed of 110km per hour.
Two of the Nations flagship carriers have also shown support by investing in the project. China Eastern and China Southern will move the majority of their operations to the new airport, along with other SkyTeam members. Air China and other Star Alliance members are expected to remain at Capital Airport (PEK).
2019 is also set to be a promising year for US carriers to China, with rumours of an open skies agreement gives way to opportunities for carriers to joint venture. China Eastern is close to Delta, while China Southern still has a young relationship with AA. It would be good to see more partnerships in the near future, however, they must get through government regulations first.
As for Australia – we’re already reaping the benefits of an open skies agreement with China. The new airport is expected to boost current strategic partnerships. Qantas and China Eastern for example, whom recently began routes like Sydney to Kunming direct. With China tourism arrivals increasing each year, it’s expected we’ll see more flights and carriers to China as we near the end of completion of Daxing.
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