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Beijing opens enormous starfish airport

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Photo credit: Chinanews.com

Timed with the leadup to National Day, Beijing opened a grand new airport last week that is poised to become one of the busiest in the world. Its name is Beijing Daxing International Airport (北京大兴国际机场 běijīng dàxīng guójì jīchǎng), airport code PKX.

According to state media Xinhua, President Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 boasted that the airport was built in only five years, and is a “display of the political advantages of the CPC leadership and China’s socialist system that can mobilize all sources to make great achievements.”

The design of the airport, however, was not done by a Chinese person, but rather the late Zaha Hadid, the famed British-Iraqi architect.

More details on the new air hub, per Reuters:

  • It “cost $63 billion to build [and] is roughly the size of 100 football fields.”
  • It is supposed to be “shaped like a phoenix — though to some observers it is more reminiscent of a starfish.”
  • It “boasts four runways and is expected to handle up to 72 million passengers a year by 2025, eventually reaching 100 million.” It will be nearly neck-and-neck with Atlanta for world’s busiest at that point.
  • “About 50 foreign airlines, including British Airways and Finnair, plan to move all or part of their operations in the next few quarters. The relocation of all airlines is due to be completed by the winter of 2021.”
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