Beijing has drawn up a detailed plan for a second airport that will help alleviate congestion at the Chinese capital's main hub.
In an environmental impact report released on the Ministry of Environmental Protection website, it was disclosed that Beijing plans to spend CNY86.2 billion ($13.9 billion) on the airport project, dubbed the Beijing new airport.
The new airport, to be located about 46km from the city centre and 67km from Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), is slated to have four 3,800m long runways in its initial phase of opening. In the longer term, the airport will have seven runways, which will be able to handle 840,000 take-offs and landings annually.
Fully constructed in 2025, the airport will have a capacity to handle 72 million passengers and two million tonnes of cargo.
Congestion has long been a bugbear at BCIA, which handled 82 million passengers in 2012, far exceeding its capacity of 76 million. The report adds that there are about 400 daily slot requests that cannot be met because of congestion at the airport.
Beijing is expecting up to 140 million passengers between 2015 and 2020, thereby increasing the need for a second airport.