3rd runway of Beijing airport to open soon


BEIJING — A third runway at Beijing’s airport, expected to be heavily used during the Olympics Games next summer, will open later this month, state media reported Sunday. Xinhua News Agency said the runway had been approved by China’s civil aviation authority and would open on Oct. 29. The runway is part of an expansion project which includes a new terminal building, 100 aprons and a cargo zone that will enable the airport to handle 60 million passengers and 1.8 million tons of cargo each year. Xinhua said the airport is predicting that monthly passenger arrivals will peak at 5.56 million during the Olympics, equal to the volume forecast for 2015.

The airport presently has two runways and two terminals with a combined capacity of handling 35 million passengers a year. It has been expanding since March 2004 to prepare for the Olympics.

The airport’s arrival and departure capacity will increase from 80 flights to 115 flights per hour when the third terminal goes into operation in February, Xinhua quoted airport controlling office director Yang Fei as saying.