The ‘Beijing New Airport’, tipped to be the largest airport in the world, is scheduled to open for operations in 2019. The airport, which cost a whopping 80 billion yuan (£9.1 billion) to build, is designed in the shape of a giant flower and is located China’s southern Daxing district. It will act as a base for Chinese carriers China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines — both members of SkyTeam alliance.
The airport will offer easier access between flights for passengers and is expected to handle a maximum capacity of 100 million passengers. However, it will serve 72 million passengers annually in the first phase.
The airport’s building was designed by the late Zaha Hadid and the airport will handle both international and domestic traffic.
Around 1.6 million cubic meters concrete and 52,000 tonnes of steel were used to construct the skeleton of the airport which is spread across 47 sq km.
“Lined up together there’s roughly 5 km of gates. It’s a shining example of China’s national production capacity,” said project spokesman Zhu Wenxin.
The Beijing New Airport is situated 67 km south of Beijing and lies in Hebei province. However, later on, its own development zone will be formed. It will be crucial for taking off pressure on the existing international airport in Beijing which handles the second largest passenger traffic annually in the world. The existing airport recently opened a new terminal just ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 at a cost of $3.6 billion.
Beijing New Airport will connect to Beijing via a high-speed train that will run at a speed of 350 km per hour. It will also be connected via an inter-city train and an expressway.
The airport will feature gardens and ornate landscaping. It will have separate passenger areas for domestic and international passengers. This will create a more compact space while reducing travel time.
“The overall symmetry of the airport terminal design, together with its flowing, interconnected forms, create a fluid composition which evokes the harmony and balance evidence in Chinese landscapes, while its colors and materials are an expression of visual language within traditional Chinese culture,” according to the website of Zaha Hadid Architecture, the designers of the airport.
The terminal is built as one of the largest enclosed spaces in the world that will be spread across 3,13,000 square metres. The central hub of the six-pier flower-like terminal comprises walkways and is designed for future expansion.
In the first phase, four runways will be built and the airport will reach its maximum capacity in two subsequent phases. capacity.