Wednesday, January 19, 2011

China to build new airport in Beijing to serve as Asia hub

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China unveiled plans Sunday to build a new airport in Beijing in a bid to turn the Chinese capital into Asia's aviation hub.
The planned airport, proposed as part of a five-year Beijing economic plan, would be located in southern Beijing and able to handle 40 million travelers a year.
Capital International Airport, currently the main gateway to Beijing with three terminals, handled 70 million travelers last year, making it the second busiest airport in the world after Atlanta airport in the United States.
The two Beijing airports would have a combined capacity of 120 million travelers a year by 2015, making Beijing "an international aviation hub and the gateway to Asia," the 2011-2015 economic blueprint said.
The economic proposal was submitted to the opening session of the Beijing municipal legislature on Sunday.
China's fast-paced economic growth has fueled air travel both for tourism and business.
Last year, Chinese air travelers totaled a record 267 million, and the number is projected to exceed 300 million this year.
Apart from Beijing, China has been adding new airports in other population centers.
Beijing city authorities are building access roads to the new airport with the travel time from the city center projected at 30 minutes.
To ease chronic traffic congestion in Beijing, the five-year plan calls for adding 200 kilometers of expressways, expanding the expressway network in the capital to 1,100 km.
The plan also calls for expanding Beijing's subway network by 336 km to 660 km.
The five-year economic plan is expected to be approved by the Beijing municipal congress before it closes on Friday.
(Mainichi Japan) January 17, 2011

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