T he first phase of an expansive new airport — whose cost is estimated at approximately $12 billion — will be completed by the year 2019; and it could eventually become the largest airport in the world once the combination of the first phase and two future phases are completed.
New Airport to Be the Largest in the World?
“Representatives of the Beijing New Airport project showed off the sprawling construction site on Monday, saying the city’s second major airport could serve 45 million passengers a year with four runways on first opening, while two later phases would push the capacity to 100 million passengers annually”, according to this article written by Jake Spring for Reuters. “That would put the airport, to be the world’s largest in surface area, roughly in line with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest by annual passengers.”
When it is completed, the new airport will become the new base for China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited and China Southern Airlines Company Limited. The two airlines — both of which are members of the SkyTeam alliance and will be under one roof — combined will purportedly account for 80 percent of the air traffic of the new airport after they relocate from the existing Beijing Capital International Airport, which is already operating well beyond its planned capacity as the second-busiest airport in the world.
At 78,000 hectares, King Fahd International Airport — which serves the city of Dammam in Saudi Arabia — is currently the largest airport in the world by surface area; and Denver International Airport is at a distant second place with 13,726 hectares.
Speaking of distant, the new airport — which is in the southern Daxing district of China — is located 28.6 miles from the city center of Beijing. By comparison, Denver International Airport is approximately 25 miles from the city center of Denver.
The airport will have four runways when it initially opens to the public. Additionally, a new railway which will serve the new airport — on which trains are expected to travel at 350 kilometers per hour, which is not as fast as the Maglev trains in Shanghai — is expected to be completed in 2019.
“Construction of the Beijing-Bazhou high-speed rail line, a key link for the capital’s new airport and Xiongan New Area, started on May 21, the China Railway Group announced”, according to this article from The State Council of the People’s Republic of China. “The passenger line will connect Beijing and Bazhou, a neighboring city 80 kilometers to the south. Bazhou is also adjacent to Xiongan New Area, the country’s emerging development zone.”
I have been to Shanghai and stayed at the Hyatt On The Bund hotel property with a great view; but I never been to Beijing. Perhaps one day I will visit the largest airport in the world in terms of surface area — as well as Beijing itself, the Great Wall of China and other sights accessible from Beijing.