Daxing International airport

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Everything you need to know about China’s Daxing International Airport 

The Chinese government has plans to build more airports or expand 74 airports around China by the end of 2020. This will help accommodate the increasing number of passengers using airports around China every year.

China currently has around 235 airports, handling Chinese airports handled 1.264 billion passengers, up 10.2% over 2017, with 37 of the country’s airports handling over 10 million passengers in a year. But with many lacking the capacity to sustain the anticipated increase in passenger numbers and flights, government officials estimate around 450 airports will be needed across the country by 2035.

The plan to transform the Chinese aviation system to a state where it could be able to comfortably accommodate the increasing numbers of passengers started in 2014 and the Daxing International Airport was just one of them. 

Among the numbers of airports the Government have plans for, none of them is attracting more attention than the Beijing’s Daxing International Airport.

Interesting Facts About Daxing International Airport

  • Hundreds of Qing Dynasty tombs were discovered during Daxing Airport’s construction

During the early days of the construction, workers on the site stumbled upon the Qing Dynasty graveyard and uncovered ancient antiques in the form of pottery, jewelry and other relics where the airport’s maintenance and repair facilities will be. The Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau was called in to check out the site, part of which will likely be protected.

  • It was designed by Zaha Hadid, a world-renowned Iraqi-British architect

The building was designed by Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016, in conjunction with the engineering subsidiary of Aeroports de Paris.

Hadid was the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize and is known for projects ranging from the MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art and Culture in Rome to the London Aquatics Center for the 2012 Olympics. Hadid passed away in 2016 when she still had 36 projects on her plate, including the 2022 World Cup Stadium in Qatar.

  • It took just five years to build

The project cost 120 billion yuan (S$23.6 billion), or 400 billion if rail and road links are included.

Initial phases began in 2014 and the airport is already scheduled to open this September, a feat pulled off by 8,000 workers and a sense of urgency to accommodate what will soon by the biggest aviation market in the world.

China’s capital has long been in need of a second global gateway.

Handling more than 100 million passengers in 2018, Beijing’s existing Capital International Airport is now the second busiest airport in the world after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is hitting full capacity.

When the new Daxing Airport opens, Beijing Capital will not close. Instead it will continue to handle airlines like Air China and Hainan Airlines, giving the city an extra boost of capacity as the number of air travelers shows no sign of abating.

  • Looks like an octopus missing a couple of legs or a massive shining starfish

There’s more to that aquatic, alien space ship-shaped terminal than aesthetics. It’s also designed to accommodate more aircraft and minimize the amount of walking you have to do. The distance from the security checkpoint to the farthest gates is just 600 meters, or less than an eight minute walk. Wonder how long it will take if they have walkway belts.

Inside, it stands out for its flowing, curved lines and use of light that filters down to the lowest levels of the building through openings in the roof.

Underneath the terminal is a train station and metro line that will allow travellers to reach the city centre in 20 or so minutes.

  • Daxing’s main terminal will be the world’s largest

At 700,000 square metres — about the size of a hundred football pitches — the new structure will be one of the world’s largest airport terminals.

Located 46 kilometres south of Tiananmen square, the new airport will operate at full capacity in 2025, with four runways and the potential to receive 72 million passengers per year.

4 runways, 256 packing bays and 700k square metre terminal area.

According to its designers, by the year 2040 the hub is expected to have expanded to eight runways including one for military use, and will be able to welcome 100 million passengers per year — which will make it the world’s largest single terminal in terms of traveller capacity.

Atlanta airport, in the United States, can currently receive more than a hundred million passengers, but across two terminals.

Delta Air France and KLM, will move over to the new airport along, along with its partner Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.

The third largest Chinese airline, Air China, is expected to keep flying the bulk of its flights from Beijing Capital International Airport.

  • 20,000 people were relocated and 11 villages demolished to make space for it

Talking about the ancient occupants of Qinq dynasty been disturbed and their antiques excavaed. 

They are not the only people that their place of abode was disturbed. Both the dead and the living were disturbed aswell for the multi-billion dollar airport. 

The villagers who lost their homes to the mega infrastructure project received compensation packages but didn’t have a say in the matter. Some were moved because their homes were inside the construction area and others because the area where they lived is about to get a whole lot noisier.


  • Set to open on eve of China’s 70th birthday 

Work on the Beijing Daxing International Airport officially ended on schedule Sunday, ready for a September 30 inauguration — on the eve of the anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic on October 1, 1949, by Mao Zedong.


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