Beijing lands a second airport

The Chinese government has signed off Beijing’s new $13bn airport project, with operations due to commence by 2018.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planning agency, has approved the launch of an RMB80 billion (€10.3 billion; $13.0 billion) airport construction in Daxing, 60 kilometers south of the capital, Beijing.

The multi-billion project is the last of a series of infrastructure projects to have been launched by the government as it looks to utilise its outsized steel and cement production capacity and seek growth opportunities to counter economic growth slowdown.

The last six weeks have seen an unprecedented investment spree from the government which has approved no less than 28 new railway lines and RMB112 billion of road construction projects in South and West China, boosting national spending by RMB1 trillion, a move which has been met with scepticism from industry specialists concerned about the lack of economic viability of the heavily subsidy-reliant initiatives. 

The airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers initially in 2018 and 100 million over time, and will cater for 620,000 planes and 2 million tonnes of cargo annually by 2025, making it the biggest airport in the world.

A five-year construction timeframe has been planned for its seven runways and a terminal building covering 700,000 square meters.

Terminal one’s design was awarded to France's EPC Aeroport de Paris in July this year.

Daxing International Airport is intended to lighten traffic volume at Beijing’s current single airport which handles 83.7 million passengers annually, well over its planned 76 million capacity, and is seen as some as the next commercial freight hub in Heibei province.