23 SEPTEMBER 2019
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China’s new gateway and the capital’s second airport, Beijing Daxing International (PKX), is on course to begin operations next Monday, 30 September, following the official opening last week of two operational control centres for China Eastern.
The company and its low-cost division, China United Airlines, together with four additional carriers – Air China, China Southern, Capital Airlines, and Hebei Airlines – are all reported to have reached the final stages of preparation to launch first flights.
The first phase of the Zaha Hadid-designed complex has four runways and plans to handle 72m passengers a year by 2025 (BTN 8 July). The existing Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) will remain operational.
Beijing Capital last year handled 100m passengers, highlighting the need for a second global gateway for the Chinese capital. Most airlines are expected to choose to operate to either PKX or PEK, though some airlines intend to use both.
In addition to its four runways and a terminal the size of 97 soccer pitches, Beijing Daxing has customer-service robots to provide flight updates and airport information.
Future phases call for the building of a total of seven runways, and at least 100m passengers a year.
For a video of the new airport, see https://news.cgtn.com/event/2019/PKX/indexPC.html
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