Aviation News

January 12, 2011

Chinese Government Announces Construction of Second Beijing Airport to Begin Later This Year

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) chief Li Jiaxiang has announced that a second airport in Beijing will likely begin construction later this year, China Daily reported on Wednesday.

Beijing Capital International Airport, control towers and Terminals 1 and 2

Beijing Capital International Airport, control towers and Terminals 1 and 2, viewing from the west of runway 36L. (Photo by Yaoleilei, Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0)

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is currently the world’s second busiest airport, receiving 73.9 million passengers in 2010. The new airport, which was scheduled to begin its construction last year, is planned to have a capacity of 60 million passengers a year.

The project, Li said, will require an investment of at least 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) and, by 2015, the airport is expected to be able to manage a total of 76 million passengers. The construction will begin as soon as the State council approves the project.

“It is very urgent that we start building the second airport in Beijing now,” Li told the newspaper on the sidelines of a civil aviation work conference in Beijing, adding that it is currently impossible to add even one more flight to the “already tight daily schedule” of the capital airport.

In 2011 alone, the CAAC is expecting to construct eleven more airports across the country, which already has 175 airports for civil aviation.

Last year in China, 267 million passengers traveled by air, which is an increase of 16 percent from 2009. In addition, some 5.57 million tons of cargo were transported by air, up 25 percent year-on-year.

Furthermore, China had not had a fatal major aviation accident in around 2,100 days – which is almost 6 years – until last August when a Henan Airlines passenger plane crashed near the runway of Yichun’s Lindu Airport, killing 42 people.