BEIJING • China's capital unveiled its 80 billion yuan (S$16.4 billion) new airport yesterday, tipped to become one of the world's largest when it opens in October 2019, amid a massive infrastructure drive overseen by President Xi Jinping.
Representatives showed off the sprawling skeleton of Beijing New Airport, made up of 1.6 million cubic m of concrete and 52,000 tonnes of steel, spanning a total 47 sq km, including runways. It is expected to serve an initial 45 million passengers a year with an eventual capacity of 100 million.
Updates on the airport come as the ruling Communist Party is set to open its 19th congress tomorrow, a twice-a-decade leadership event where Mr Xi will consolidate power and emphasise successful projects and policies from his first five years.
China has sought to boost its profile as an aviation hub and a manufacturer in recent years. Its first home-grown passenger jet, the C919, lifted off on its maiden flight in May.
Located 67km south of Beijing, the new airport will ease pressure on Beijing's existing international airport, to the north-east of the capital and now the world's second-largest by passenger volume. The new airport will be linked to Beijing by a high-speed train as well as an inter-city train and a major expressway.