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Chinese government approves construction of second Beijing airport

The Chinese government has approved the construction of a new airport in Beijing to help the capital city cope with congestion at its main hub.

A news report by the Civil Aviation Administration of China says that construction of the new airport, to be located in Daxing, south of Beijing, is scheduled to start in 2014 and will be completed by 2018.

The plan is for the airport to have six runways, and the capacity to handle 70 million passengers annually by 2025.

Once up and running, some flights handled at the nearby military air base Nanyuan airport will be transferred over.

The airport, estimated to cost around yuan (CNY) 70 billion ($11.3 billion), will be managed by state-owned Capital Airports Holding, which also manages Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA).

In 2012, 81.9 million passengers walked through BCIA's gates, hitting its capacity limit of 82 million for the first time.

Congestion has long been a bugbear at the airport, and the airport operator is working with air traffic control to increase aircraft movement and expanding its second terminal to tackle these issues. BCIA was also ranked as the world's second busiest airports, by passenger numbers, in 2011, according to data from the Airports Council International.

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