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NEWS Last modified on May 14, 2014

New airport to be built in Beijing, reports claim

Beijing plans to build a new CNY86 billion yuan ($14 billion) airport to the south of the Chinese capital as congestion continues to clog runways and gates at Beijing Capital Airport, according to media reports.

Reuters news agency, reports the new facility will border on Hebei province, and will be built to handle 72 million passengers and two million tonnes of air cargo annually.

The agency says the details were revealed on a document posted on the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection late last week.

Beijing's Capital Airport, which was built in 1958, is already operating above its designed capacity of 80 million passengers per year, and last year it handled more than 83 million.

China's airports in total handled more than 754 million passengers last year, up 11% compared to 2012 and 86% from five years ago.

Forecasters predict congestion and delays are only set to worsen as manufacturers estimate one new aircraft will take to China's skies every other day for the next two decades.

By 2015, Beijing alone is expected to see traffic of 113 million passengers each year, rising to 142 million by 2020, the document says.

(Beijing Capital. Picture courtesy of Foster + Partners)

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