Beijing Daxing International Airport (IATA: PKX, ICAO: ZBAD) is a significant international airport on the Hebei Province border between Beijing and Langfang. After Beijing Capital International Airport, this is Beijing’s second international airport. “The starfish” is how it’s been dubbed. It was finished on June 30, 2019, and operations started on September 26, 2019.
The airport, which serves Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, lies 46 kilometres (29 miles) south of Tiananmen Square, 26 kilometres (16 miles) west of downtown Langfang, 50 kilometres (31 miles) northeast of Xiong’an New Area, and 65 kilometres (40 miles) south of Beijing Capital International Airport. It serves as a hub for SkyTeam alliance airlines and some Oneworld members, but the majority of Star Alliance members, as well as Hainan Airlines, have remained at Beijing Capital International.
The CN 80 billion (US$11.4 billion) facility comprises a 700,000 m2 (7,500,000 sq ft) terminal, the world’s largest single-building airport terminal, and sits on 47 km2 (18 sq mi) of land after nearly five years of development. The airport was named the best airport in Asia-Pacific in terms of hygienic standards by Airports Council International in 2020.
In 2008, a second airport for Beijing was suggested. The existing Beijing Capital International Airport was nearing its design capacity by 2012.
According to early media reports from September 2011, the proposed airport might include up to nine runways: eight for regular aircraft and one for military use.
It would take the place of Beijing Capital International Airport (which had 83 million passengers in 2013, the second highest in the world) as Beijing’s major airport and China’s largest. The airport was designed to handle 120 to 200 million passengers per year, making it the world’s biggest airport by passenger traffic if capacity was completely utilised, greatly surpassing Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Construction permission is granted.
On December 22, 2014, the National Development and Reform Commission gave its official approval for construction.
It proposed building an airport in the southern section of Beijing’s Daxing District, near the city’s border with Hebei Province. Due to current talks, no design or plans have been disclosed. It was announced that there would be seven runways, six for civilian usage and one for military use. As of September 2019, construction was completed, with a capacity of 75 million passengers by 2025. The cost of construction, which included the 37 km (23 mi) Beijing–Xiong’an intercity railway (Beijing portion) to Beijing West railway station, was initially anticipated to be at least 70 billion RMB (US$11.2 billion).
The master design for the airport was created by NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants) and will include a ground transportation hub that will connect the airport to high-speed rail, metro, expressways, Beijing Airport Bus routes, local buses, and the inter-airport transportation system. The terminal building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in the United Kingdom, ADPI and Partners in France, and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design in China (BIAD). A centre hub is surrounded by six curved spokes. XinShan Curtainwall and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design collaborated on the façade design. Beijing Institute of Architectural Design hired Arup as a fire engineering consultant, while China IPPR International Engineering was in charge of the security and baggage systems. As part of the cooperation, BuroHappold Engineeringcollaborated with the architects to include engineering solutions into the airport’s design.
In 2018, the integrated service building (the 6th pier) was assigned to Hong Kong design studio Lead 8. The terminal will include “a purposeful design of work spaces, with integrated retail, dining, and entertainment options for the large number of passengers expected,” according to Lead 8, with plans to include interactive pet hotels, a child care and nursery, hybrid online retail and dining, and a company showroom.
The airport’s construction began on December 26, 2014, under the direction of lead engineer Guo Yanchi. The concrete framework of the terminal had been topped by March 2017. The first flight inspection began on January 23, 2019, and was scheduled to be completed in March.
The airport’s construction was officially completed on June 30, 2019, and it was set to open in September. The airport alone cost CN120 billion (US$17 billion), with other constructions on the outskirts costing CN330 billion (US$46.2 billion), for a total cost of CN450 billion (US$63 billion).
The airport opened on September 25, 2019, just six days before the People’s Republic of China’s 70th anniversary, in a ceremony attended by Chinese President and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. The first official flight out of the airport was an Airbus A380 operated by China Southern Airlines. Inaugural flights from seven Chinese airlines began later in the afternoon, although flights operating out of the airport on the day were member-only, with the first official flight out of the airport being an Airbus A380 operated by China Southern Airlines. Flights for the general public began the next day, on September 26th, 2019. On September 26, 2019, at 10:12 (UTC+8), the first commercial flight arrived at Beijing Daxing.
Immediately after its opening, the airport became the hub for China United Airlines, and all of its services were shifted to Beijing Daxing. Other airlines, such as China Eastern and China Southern Airlines, will relocate as well.
The oldest airport in China, Beijing Nanyuan Airport, closed on the same day as the Daxing Airport opened. In Daxing, as in Nanyuan, a military airstrip will cohabit with a civilian airfield.
In the long run, the first phase of the airport project is expected to handle 72 million passengers, 2 million tonnes of freight and mail, and 620,000 aircraft movements.