China’s Daxing International On Track for September Opening

 - April 12, 2019, 9:21 AM

Workers at Beijing’s upcoming mega-airport, Daxing International, have completed the development of a high-pressure gas supply station and are finishing construction of the airport’s sprawling 7.5 million-square-foot terminal building, bringing it one step closer to operational readiness by September 30. Due for completion this month, the terminal will serve 45 million passengers annually by 2021 and 72 million by 2025.

Billed as the world’s largest airport upon completion, Daxing will initially feature four runways before expanding to seven, 150 passenger aircraft parking bays, 24 freighter aircraft parking bays, and 14 maintenance parking bays. Planners expect Daxing to eventually accommodate 880,000 aircraft movements and 100 million passengers annually.

A consortium consisting of low-cost carrier Beijing Capital Airlines, HNA Technic, and Beijing General Aviation Company (BGCA) will provide third-party aircraft maintenance at the new $13.1 billion airport. Future plans call for the new joint venture (JV) company to gradually expand the scope and scale of its maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities.

Under the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s resource allocation plan, foreign carriers, including airlines based in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, can choose to operate from Beijing’s existing Capital International Airport or Daxing or both. The new airport, recently granted the IATA code PKX, will serve as a hub for Skyteam alliance members including Delta and Air France-KLM. Plans call for Star Alliance airlines Air China, United Airlines, and Air Canada to remain at Capital International.

State-owned China Southern Airlines will employ a dual-hub strategy from Daxing and its current base, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The carrier predicts 40 percent of its traffic to flow through its $2.4 billion, 153-acre Daxing hub and plans to station over 200 aircraft there by 2025.

China Eastern Airlines harbors similar plans to route 40 percent of all its passengers through Daxing and will eventually base a fleet of 200 aircraft at the new mega-hub. The state-owned airline has begun its second phase of building a base at Daxing and has allocated $1.97 billion as part of a larger investment plan exceeding $17.8 billion.

Meanwhile, plans call for the new Beijing-Daxing International Airport Expressway to open in June. China’s National Development and Reform Commission is reviewing plans to develop an airport economic zone, speculatively worth $13.4 billion. The initial plan focuses on establishing regulations and policies as well as platform development and workforce recruitment for the 58-square-mile designated area.