Since the 18th CPC National Congress five years ago, Beijing has focused on infrastructure and transportation as key engines of development. China is on track to become the world’s largest commercial aviation market by 2030, surpassing the United States. And in two years, Beijing will open a brand new international airport.
CGTN’s Rachael Ruble shows us how infrastructure is moving China Forward.
Follow Rachael Ruble on Twitter @RachaelRuble
With a price tag of around $13 billion, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is designed to impress.
Donning red hard hats, members of the news media got a sneak peek inside the main terminal. Right now, it’s just a steel frame waiting to be filled in.
Zhu Wenxin, the head of construction, guided the tour as construction crews work to finish installing the terminal’s glass curtain and roof before the year ends.
“By the end of September 2017, over 90 percent of earthwork, dynamic compaction and impact rolling had been finished,” Zhu told us. “Concreting work of the runways and taxiways had been comprehensively carried forward.”
When it opens in 2019, the new airport terminal will be one of the largest in the world at 7.5 million square feet. That’s the equivalent area of 44 standard football fields.
“As it covers such a large area, the new airport features an integrated transportation network, which will make it more convenient for passengers to access both connecting flights and public transport,” according to Zhu.
Despite its daunting size, the longest walking distance from the center of the terminal to the farthest boarding bridge is just 600 meters. The walking time is less than eight minutes, making the airport far more efficient than others of similar size.
Efficiency is key for the transportation hub, which in addition to accommodating air traffic will see the integration of highway, subway, and high-speed rail lines, from which passengers can directly enter the terminal.
The airport will expand the passenger capacity of Beijing’s aviation system. It’s designed to handle around 45 million passengers each year from 2019 to 2025.
With runways designed to lessen noise, ecological construction to reduce the environmental impact, and an earthquake safe design it’s a first-class airport meant to showcase China to the world.
Trial operations are scheduled to begin in October 2019, with a long-term plan of serving up to 100 million passengers a year, and a short-term goal of serving 72 million passengers by 2025.
It won’t be long now before the future of transportation is just an airplane, train, or subway ride away.