Beijing Daxing International Airport, China’s sprawling, futuristic mega-airport has opened, following years of construction and billions of dollars spent.
The airport is ready to offer first commercial flights, with one of the airport’s main tenants, China Southern planning to deploy the world’s biggest airliner the Airbus A380 as a maiden flight. The airport features a terminal designed by the world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, and at full capacity it is expected to be the largest commercial airport in the world. Nicknamed “the starfish” by local media due to the site’s unusual shape, the airport has long corridors that stretch out from the main central hub and measures more than 700,000 square metres.
The airport includes separate passenger areas for domestic and international flights, and has been designed to minimise the walking-length to gates and to cut down wait-times at security gates.
According to Chinese media, the airport was created to help ease the pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and allow for additional flights, and will be capable of accommodating over 100 million passengers per year when it reaches its full operational ability. This will be rolled out in stages however, and it is thought it will take a few years to reach full capacity.
High-tech services at the airport will include customer service robots that will travel through terminals in order to assist passengers with flight updates, while express trains will help travellers get to the airport from the city centre. China's state news channel CGTN has released a 360-degree virtual tour of Beijing Daxing International Airport. The interior design features futuristic sweeping walls and 8000 rooftop windows to allow for natural light to shine in.