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Daxing stays on course after passing construction milestone

24 July 2017
The steel frame of the main terminal building at Beijing Daxing International Airport, pictured on 30 June 2017. Source: Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin

The steel structure of the main terminal at Beijing Daxing International Airport was completed on 30 June 2017, suggesting that its operations will begin in 2019 as planned.

Located 46 km south of the centre of Chinese capital, the airport is designed to relieve pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), which is reaching its capacity limits.

Daxing also reflects central government plans to build a new megacity at Xiong’an, about 100 km southwest of Beijing and 55 km from the new airport.

The Xiong’an New Area will be allocated the same enormous national significance as the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area.

China Eastern Airlines, one of China’s top three airlines, was originally displeased about being moved from BCIA to Daxing, but changed its stance once the Xiong’an plans were announced.

Will Horton, Hong Kong-based senior analyst at the Centre for Aviation (‎CAPA), said that China Eastern will gain a significant competitive advantage, as it is the only Chinese carrier with primary status at Daxing and both Shanghai airports. Air China and its Star Alliance partners will remain at BCIA, while China Southern will gradually move from BCIA to Daxing.

“Once Daxing opens, all three major state-owned airlines will be competing with each other at unprecedented levels,” Horton told Jane’s .

Daxing is also set to become the first Chinese airport to include a public-private partnership for airport parking. BCIA Co Ltd general manager Han Zhiliang announced on 17 June 2017 that the Shougang Fund Consortium had won a 25-year Daxing parking building management concession.

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