China's New $11.2 Billion Beijing Airport To Open in 2018
By Michelle FlorCruz | January 16, 2013 3:52 AM EST
According to the China Daily, the new airport will be located in the southern region of the city, and it will be huge, with seven runways (for example, New York’s JFK has only four). One runway will be reserved for military use, a rare feature among major civilian airports.
The new airport, which was given the green light by China's State Council, will alleviate the congestion that currently burdens Beijing Capital Airport, located in the northeastern part of the city. The current airport has been consistently ranked as the world's second busiest, with an estimated 81.8 million passengers passing Only Atlanta had more passengers, with more than 90 million people.
What can be expected from Beijing's new airport?
If the most recent addition to the current airport, Terminal 3 (pictured above), is any indication, European-designed facilities, state of the art security and luggage-tracking systems and a sprawling open-air structure could be i
The newest terminal, which broke ground in 2004 was completed in early 2008 ahead of the Summer Olympic games, which Beijing hosted, to meet the growing needs of travelers coming to China.
Domestic and international travelers are divided into to sub-terminals which people can commute back and forth from via an indoor train shuttle, traveling the two kilometers (1.2 miles) in under five minutes.
Though jointly designed by Dutch and British architectural firms, the end product definitely had the Chinese population in mind. Traditional elements, like lots of red, an auspicious color in China, and replicas of Chinese sculptures were included in the new terminal.
Terminal 3 is the second-largest airport building in the world, services hundreds of domestic and international flights every day, and is home to the city's first Burger King fast-food franchise.
The current airport will continue to be the bigger one, at least for some years. By 2025 the new airport is expected to be functioning at its full capacity with an estimated 70 million passengers passing through each year.
Plane travel has become increasingly affordable
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