*As news that the International Monetary Fund has added the Chinese currency, Yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, the Asian giant is to complete the first phase of an expensive new airport in Beijing.
The airport when finally completed, could eventually be the world’s largest by 2019.
Representatives of the Beijing New Airport project showed off the sprawling construction site on Monday, saying that the city’s second major airport could serve 45 million passengers a year with four runways on its first opening.
Our worry isn’t whether or not we’ll have this many passengers but whether we’ll be able to satisfy demand.
They noted that the two later phases would push the capacity to 100 million passengers annually.
This would put the airport, to be the world’s largest in surface area, roughly in line with Hartsfield-Jacson Atlanta international Airport; the world’s busiest by annual passengers.
“Our worry isn’t whether or not we’ll have this many passengers but whether we’ll be able to satisfy demand,” said Jia Zhiguo, assistant general manager for the construction project.
He added that the existing Beijing Capital international Airport, the world’s second-largest and owned by the same company building the new airport, is already operating well beyond its planned capacity.
The 80 billion yuan (Dh43.8bn) airport is one of a raft of massive infrastructure spending projects being undertaken as China’s economy grows at its slowest pace in decades, despite pledges to shift away from infrastructure spending and heavy industry and toward a consumer and services driven economy.
China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines will relocate to the new airport upon completion and account for four-fifths of its air traffic, airport officials said.