China will begin a study into the feasibility of a second airport for Beijing later in 2010.

It is likely to be situated in the southern part of the city, says an official from Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), which operates the Chinese capital's existing airport.

"Our airport is already running at close to capacity, and we will not be able to expand much because of space constraints, so a new airport is needed," he adds.

BCIA, which opened its third terminal in March 2008, has the capacity to handle 86 million passengers annually. Its passenger throughput reached 65.4 million in 2009, and that should rise to 73 million this year, says the official.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), and the Beijing municipal government are involved in the "long-term planning" for a new airport, says the BCIA.

"The company will proactively take part in the feasibility study on the project and strive for participation in the construction of the new airport," it adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news