Home to the world’s largest terminal, Daixing International Airport opens on Monday

China’s Daxing International Airport in southern Beijing—operating the largest airport terminal in the world—will welcome its first daily flights today.

Daxing terminal 900x540

Photo: AFP

China’s Daxing International Airport in southern Beijing—operating the largest airport terminal in the world—will welcome its first daily flights today.

Expected to cater to some 72 million passengers annually by 2025, the airport will alleviate congestion at Beijing’s existing Capital International airport in the city’s north. The existing airport currently supports over 100 million passengers a year—well over the 83 million it was designed for.

Daxing is part of a wave of airport-building going on in China; the country aims to open 216 airports by 2035. By that time, China is expected to cater for a quarter of the world’s expected 8.3 billion travellers. China is currently on track to overtake the US as the largest aviation market by 2022—the market is currently worth $170 billion in passenger revenues alone.

However, the current trade war with the US risks the growth of passenger demand. Should the trade war dent GDP growth and affect tourism, the viability of the airport projects will be questioned. To combat any potential economic downturn, China is banking on a growth plan premised on major infrastructural spending in the next decade. Investment in key infrastructure like airports is aimed at connecting remote regions of China but also stimulating tourism and other airport-dependant industries, thus becoming catalysts for economic growth in themselves.

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