The World’s Largest Airport Opens Today In Beijing, China
Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) is set to begin its first commercial flights this week. The airport, which is located about 50 kilometres from Tiananmen Square in the city centre, is expected to become the largest airport in the world.
The existing Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is reportedly hitting full capacity, which makes it logistically impossible for airlines to add more flights. In 2018 alone, more than 100 million travellers made their way through its terminals, which makes it only the second airport in the world to reach that passenger traffic milestone, after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in the United States.
The greatly anticipated airport is set to deploy an Airbus A380 as the maiden flight, according to Chinese state media, and while construction was completed in June of this year, the airport only passed final inspection earlier this month.
The multibillion-dollar airport, designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid and her partners, spans more than 700,00 square feet and includes four runways, a terminal the size of 97 soccer pitches, as well as customer-service robots, all of which are made to accommodate more than 72 million passengers at one time.
Nicknamed the “starfish” by local media for its resemblance to the sea creature, the airport was designed to minimize how long passengers will need to commute between gates thanks to its five concourses, which join in the centre. According to CNN, Daxing was designed so that passengers will not need to walk any longer than eight minutes from security to the remotest gates.
It is expected that the airport will service 112 destinations around the globe by next spring, moving an estimated 100 million passengers and 4 million tons of cargo annually.