Why Beijing is Spending $13 Billion on a New Airport
China’s economic planner announced its approval of construction of a new airport in Beijing On Monday .
Six years after Beijing spent $3.5 billion to build what was then the world’s largest airport passenger terminal, China’s national planning agency has given the go ahead for a new airport that will cost nearly four times as much.
The project will involve 79.98 billion yuan (13.11 billion U.S. dollars) of investment and take about five years, said a statement from the National Development and Reform Commission.
The airport is designed to be able to handle 72 million passengers, 2 million tonnes of cargoes and mail, and 620,000 planes in 2025, it said.
It is expected to meet Beijing’s rising demand for air transportation and help achieve balanced development in the capital’s southern and northern areas, it said.
The new airport will be built in southern Beijing’s Daxing District, which borders Hebei Province.
According to the Financial Times, some commentators have questioned the wisdom of an entirely new airport in such a remote location however.
The new Beijing airport is just the latest in a string of megaprojects approved in recent months aimed more at boosting construction activity to support sagging growth than providing essential infrastructure.
Beijing International Airport, located northeastern Beijing, was listed as the second busiest airport by passenger numbers in the world last year, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States.