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Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:00cat

International flights began in Beijing's new airport

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Beijing Daxing International Airport Beijing Daxing International Airport CNN

Daxing, Beijing's new vast airport (PKX), started international flight operations on Sunday, October 27, 2019.

The facility will aid in alleviating the congestion in the existing Beijing's International Airport (PEK) as it is designed to meet the capacity of the busiest airport worldwide, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport located in the United States. In particular, according to predictions, the airport will carry up to 72 million travelers annually by 2025 reaching 100 million by 2040.

The project was first conceived in 2008 when, despite the opening of a new Terminal in PEK, officials suggested that it (PEK) would soon reach its maximum capacity (90 million people annually). 10 years later, PEK accommodated about 101 million passengers per year and became the 2nd most crowded airport in the world (behind Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport) exceeding its capacity.  

The new project which was accomplished at a cost of $63 billion, was designed by architect Zaha Hadid to preserve the “principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organize interconnected spaces around a central courtyard.”

PKX covers a total area of 47 km2 and is located 46 kilometers south of Beijing's center. Some criticized the selected location due to its large distance from the city's center. However, officials stated that the airport was also designed to server additional regions in the province of Hebei and Tianjin city. Moreover, passengers will be able to access Beijing using an express metro line that travels at a maximum speed of 160km/h.

Around 50 airline firms will establish their facilities in the new airport over a 2-year period. However, Air China and its Star Alliance airlines will remain at PEK.

Air China's flight CA757 was the PKX's first international flight that took off on Sunday morning. The first transcontinental flight to London (British Airways) was also scheduled for Sunday.

PKX opened for domestic flights in late September 2019.

Sources: Reuters Dailyhive







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