China plans to build world’s largest airport with 9 runways near Beijing

China plans to replace one of its Beijing airports with a new airport, with 9 runways, that will be the largest and busiest in the world, overtaking Atlanta. It will cost around $5 billion or more, and may open by October 2017.  It will have the capacity to deal with 130 million passengers and 5,500,000 tonnes of cargo annually.  By comparison the whole of the UK had around 222 million passengers in 2011.  Beijing Nanyuan Airport nearby may close once the new airport in Daxing commences operations. There are reports that many airports in central and western China are losing money, though those in the east are doing better.  The Chinese believe there is huge economic benefit from building, or enlarging airports, and even if the airport itself  makes a loss, there is a gain of some $130 per passenger and some 2,500 jobs created per million passengers (Chinese figures – different in the UK).

China plans to build world’s largest airport

26 February 2012 (The Siasat Daily, India)


China is planning to build the world’s largest airport at the cost of around USD $15 billion, which will replace America’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the busiest airport in the world.

Beijing is to build a new airport, which is likely to be the world’s largest in terms of passenger traffic, to the southeast of the city, official media reported here today.

The new airport, yet to be named, is to be located on the border between Beijing and Langfang, a city in north China’s Hebei province located about 45 kilometres from Beijing’s city centre.

The new international airport will have nine runways with capacity to deal with 130 million passengers and 5,500,000 tonnes of cargo annually thereby replacing the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, to become the busiest in the world, state-run China Radio International reported.  [By comparison, in 2011 Heathrow had around 69 million passengers, and all UK airports had about 222 million commercial passengers. There were about 2.3 million tonnes of air freight moved in the UK in 2010].

The new airport will also act as a hub, connecting highways, transportation roads and roads in rural areas together.

This will be the third civil airport in Beijing, following the Nanyuan Airport and the Beijing International Airport, which houses Terminal three, the largest building in the world.

The present airport handled about 74 million passengers annually – close to its capacity.

It has emerged as the world’s second largest in terms of passenger traffic over taking London’s Heathrow in terms of seating capacity last year.

According to aviation experts, it is only next to Atlanta Hartsfield airport in United States.


China to build world’s largest cargo airport

by David Badger

28 Feb 2012 (IFW)

Authorities plan a 2017 opening for nine-runway $4.8billion project near Beijing

China is planning to construct what would be the world’s largest cargo airport, near Beijing, in a Rmb30 billion (US$4.8bn) project.
State-owned China Radio International said that the as-yet-unnamed airport would have 9 runways and handle 5.5 million tonnes of freight a year, once it opens for business in October 2017.

The airport will be located in rural Daxing and cover almost 2,700ha, according to reports.

The transportation authority of Lang Fang, in North China’s Hebei province, said the airport would be built in the area between the junction of Beijing and Langfang city.

The Chinese capital is currently home to Beijing Capital International Airport and China United Airlines’ hub, Beijing Nanyuan Airport.

Reports suggest the latter will close once the new airport in Daxing commences operations.

link to story
Map showing airports in China at

List of the largest Chinese Airports

(of which Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong, Guangzhou Baiyun and Hong Kong are the 4 largest)

Airport Building Rush amid 70% in Red

28th February 2012   (CRI English)

China’s local governments are still enthusiastic about airport construction amid reports that seventy percent of airports in western and central China are losing money.

The Oriental Outlook reports that 130 out of 175 airports lost a total of 1.68 billion yuan (266.7 million U.S. dollars) in 2010.

But considering the small scale of these losses, the general picture for China’s airports is still positive.

Most profitable airports are of medium and large size, located in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, said Li Jiaxiang, president of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) at a press conference in February 2011.

Because airport construction is controlled by local governments, they have the right to expand existing airports and build new ones.

The enthusiasm largely comes from the fact that an airport can boost the economy and improve employment in nearby areas.

“The profitability can not be seen just by looking at the airport,” said Gao Jinhua, a professor with the Civil Aviation University of China, “We are making up for past debts.”

The ratio between input and output in civil aviation is 1:8, according to information from CAAC.

Airports can generate 130 million USD per million passengers and create 2,500 jobs, according to a study from Airport Council International (ACI). According to domestic studies, one million passengers can bring economic benefits worth 1.8 billion yuan and over 5,300 jobs.

Hefei Xinqiao International Airport in east China will begin operation in the second half of 2012, and Kuming Changshui International Airport in the southwest will begin in first half of 2012. Other Chinese cities including Changsha, Chengdu, Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou are also expanding their airports. The Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region will have at least 20 airports by 2015.

A year ago:

China Plans 45 New Airports Over The Next 5 Years

Feb 2011

BEIJING — China plans to build at least 45 new airports in the next five years to serve booming travel, the top industry regulator said Thursday.

The plans call for spending 1.5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) to expand air travel, said Li Jiaxiang, administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Some 130 of China’s 175 existing airports lost money last year but Beijing will support them to boost local economic growth, Li said at a news conference.

He said incomes in farming areas have risen when airports open nearby, allowing their fruit and vegetables to be flown to more prosperous major cities.

China’s fast-growing air travel market is expected to pass North America as the world’s biggest in coming decades.

Li said the plans call for increasing the number of airports to at least 220 in the next five years.

He gave no indication where they would be, but Beijing is spending heavily to develop poorer areas and China’s west and link them to booming eastern cities.



February 24, 2011 (FT)

China plans airport building spree

By Geoff Dyer in Beijing

China will build another 45 airports over the next five years, the industry regulator said on Thursday, raising fresh questions about the potential for overcapacity in the transport sector.

Li Jiaxing, the head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said that the new investments would take the total number of airports in the country to 220, even though most of the existing airports were losing money.

Although demand for air travel has grown rapidly in recent years as the purchasing power of Chinese consumers has risen, the expansion in airport infrastructure, which accelerated during the stimulus programme over the past two years, has become one of a number of potential sources ofover-investment across the economy.

Mr Li, who used to run Air China, the country’s biggest airline before moving to the regulator, said that the government would invest Rmb1500bn ($228bn) in the aviation sector in the period to 2015, although he did not say how much of that would go to airports.

According to Reuters, Mr Li, who is also a vice minister for transport, admitted on Thursday that 130 of the country’s 175 existing airports were currently lossmaking, with the combined loss amounting to Rmb1.68bn.

While large new airports in some of China’s major cities have quickly found themselves operating near to capacity because of rising traffic, industry officials say that there are a string of new airports in smaller cities which operate only a handful of flights a week. Goldman Sachs forecasts that passenger demand will rise by 15 per cent this year, as the growing middle class in China travels more.

The rapid expansion in China’s high-speed rail network has also raised questions about over-investment, a concern that could have been connected to the news 10 days ago that the minister of railways Liu Zhijun is being investigated for “a severe violation of discipline”.

While some think high ticket prices will limit the demand for high-speed rail, supporters of the investment argue that the new expanded passenger network will free up space on the existing network for transporting cargo such as coal, much of which is currently delivered by truck. However, the new high-speed rail routes, such as the Wuhan-Guangzhou line, which cut the journey time from 10 hours to three hours, are also a strong competitor for the aviation sector.

One potential boon for China’s new airports could come from smaller aircraft, after the government announced in November that civilian aircraft could fly in airspace below 4000m. The decision could prompt a big increase in the use of helicopters and light aircraft. Sinolink Securities, a Chinese brokerage, estimates that purchases of helicopters over the next decade in China will reach 3,300.