Beijing prepares to build its second airport

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BEIJING - China is likely to begin work on a second airport for its capital this year at an estimated cost of about $15 billion.

The new airport, with a planned capacity to handle at least 60 million passengers a year, is expected to shoulder part of the traffic pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), head of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Li Jiaxiang said Tuesday.

The possible construction start was a year later than the civil aviation industry had expected, the China Daily reported.

The BCIA is now the world’s second largest in terms of passenger traffic after handling 73.9 million passengers last year, a number close to its planned capacity of 76 million passengers by 2015.

“It is very urgent that we start building the second airport in Beijing now,” Li said.

“It is now impossible to add even one more flight to the tight daily schedule of the capital airport.”

All preparations are in place now, and the project’s commencement only needs a nod from the State Council, said Li, who estimated the investment needed for the project will be “at least 100 billion yuan (about $15 billion)”.

Li did not elaborate on the new airport’s location, but earlier reports quoted civil aviation officials as saying that it will be in Daxing district in southern Beijing.

The capital’s second airport is one of 11 new airports that the CAAC plans to build in 2011. China already has 175 airports for civil aviation.

Filed under: Economy

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