Beijing, China – Construction work on the New Beijing Airport is showing huge progress, as engineers express confidence that the project would be finished and open for use by 2019, less than three years before the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The new airport project located in Hubei Province, about 67 kilometers from the in-use Beijing Capital International Airport, will be one of the largest airports and most expensive in the world costing the Chinese government 400 billion Yuan (about US$60.6 billion).
The ongoing modern state-of-the-art infrastructure will compete with international airports in Japan, London and the United States based on its size, traffic and services.
The project covers a land area that can host 44 standard football stadiums. By 2030, China would surpass the US as the largest aviation sector in the world.
President Xi Jinping dubbed the airport project “a landmark project” of Beijing that is a “new powerhouse of China” when he visited the construction site February this year.
The Chinese leader hailed the project for embodying construction principle that makes it a “module project, a quality project, safe project and clean project”.
It is a “new national gateway to demonstrate the image of China, practice sincere service and new brand of first-class airport worldwide,” added the contractor in a brief overview.
“It will be a great way to show the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” said Zhu Wenxin, spokesperson for the three state-owned firms jointly executing the mega projects.
Zhu led a team of journalists on a tour of the project on Monday, October 15, two days to the opening of the Communist Party of China (CPC) 19th congress.
The CPC congress, from October 18 to 20th, will set the country’s agenda for the next five years making it one of the most important political gatherings in the world’s most populous nation.
Under the CPC guidance, China has garnered massive economic prowess in recent decades, becoming the second largest economic in the world.
And the mega new airport project outside Beijing shows the country’s economic ambitions and how it would shift the global aviation sector in the coming decades.
A long term-plan shows that the new 46 square kilometer airport would hit a maximum of 100 million throughput passengers and 4 million tons cargo and mail throughput.
For the short term, it is targeting 72 million passengers and 2 million ton cargo throughput by 2025.
This would further impact China’s economy, as passenger traffic is expected to significantly increase, industry experts say.
According to the design, the airport will host 620,000 aircraft movements on four runways – three vertical and one horizontal – and a 700,000 square meter of terminal building. Airline bases, cargo, and fuel maintenance and catering facilities will also be available.
Anti-earthquake, rubber isolation bearings and elasticity sliding bearings have been installed to ensure the safety and stability of the terminal.
“[This is] a large modern international aviation hub and a century project practicing the new development concept of innovation, coordination, environment friendly, openness and sharing,” reads the overview of the project released by the spokesman.
For domestic transportation, the airport is a boom. It will also connect Beijing, a city of over 23 million people, with surrounding cities by expressway, fast speed railway of 250 kilometers per hour and subways that will run under the terminal “giving passengers convenient travel experience,” Zhu said.