May 15, 2019, 4:47 PM
News Code: 83315847
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New Beijing airport examines its capabilities

Tehran, May 15, IRNA/ Global Times - Beijing Daxing International Airport, a new mega-airport in northern China, witnessed four test flights on Monday morning, a milestone before the airport begins operations at the end of September, it was announced on Wednesday.

The successful tests show airport authorities have shifted their focus from infrastructure to flying and upon completion, the airport will help promote Beijing's status as a global hub, Chinese analysts said.

China Southern Airlines' flagship model A380, which took off at 09:03 a.m. from Beijing Capital International Airport in the northeastern part of the city, was one of the first to land at the new airport at 09:30 a.m. on Monday, followed by China Eastern Airlines' A350-900, Air China's B747-8 and Xiamen Airlines' B787-9.

Xiamen Airlines' B787-9 was the last to land at around 09:46 a.m.

'The flight has its significance in the Daxing airport project,' Yan Xiaodong, spokesman for North China regional administration with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told the Global Times.

'The test flights are to verify the safety and rationality of the new routes in the sky and the success shows the procedure is safe and reliable,' he said. In the future, there will be more test flights for popular aircrafts such as the single-aisle B737 and A320, Yan said.

The test flights for the new airport have three phases.

The basic test flight began Monday, mainly testing the general security of the airport. In August, the airport will conduct a special test flight to check the airport's low-visibility.

A comprehensive test flight will be carried out from August to September to ensure that the airport can operate in a coordinated, smooth and efficient manner after it is officially put into use.

'The new airport will not only serve the development of the capital city of China but also bring more opportunities to the whole North China region,' Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's international market research institute, told the Global Times on Monday.

The new airport is scheduled to be completed on June 30 and open September 30. The authorities aim to meet the country's surging demand and relieve the Beijing Capital International Airport.

New Economic Hub:

Beijing Capital International Airport is located in northeast Beijing and is closer to the downtown area.

Sitting at the junction of Beijing's southern Daxing district and Langfang in North China's Hebei Province, the new airport is closer to Xiongan New Area, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, Bai said.

With an investment of 80 billion yuan ($ 11.6 billion), the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers annually by 2021 and 72 million by 2025.

Beijing Capital International Airport transnferred 101 million passengers in 2018, ranking the second in the world for nine consecutive years in terms of volume, the Civil Aviation Administration of China reported. Annual trip throughput of airports across the nation exceeded 1.2 billion in 2018, an increase of 10.2 percent over 2017.

China will take the place of the U.S. as the world's largest aviation market in the mid-2020s, as the rebalancing of China's economy toward consumption will support strong passenger demand over the long term, according to a report released by the International Air Transport Association in October 2018.

'The new airport will help Beijing open more international routes as Beijing Capital International Airport is now in a very tight slot,' Lin Zhijie, a veteran market watcher, told the Global Times on Monday.

The new airport is designed for transfer efficiency, Lin noted.

More than 50 domestic and foreign airlines have expressed their willingness to use the new airport.

China Southern Airlines has 40 percent of the slots and will shoulder 40 percent of the air passenger traffic.

According to the plan, China Southern is expected to have more than 200 aircraft at the new airport by 2025, with more than 900 flights taking off and landing daily.

'Just like Shanghai Pudong and Hongqiao airports that serve East China's development, the new airport together with Beijing Capital International Airport will make North China more competitive and make it another economic hub in Asia,' Bai said.

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