A new 80 billion yuan (US$13 billion) airport has been approved for Beijing, the Financial Times reported.
China’s top economic planning agency gave it the green light as part of government efforts to boost flagging growth by accelerating construction of infrastructure projects, the report said.
Controversially, the airport will be built in the far south of the city.
It is intended to relieve pressure on Beijing’s existing air terminal, which was completed only in 2008 but is notorious for flight delays.
China has built scores of airports in recent years, but barely one in four of the 200 in operation are making money, with about 150 surviving on government subsidies, the newspaper cited the head of Chinese civil aviation as saying this month.
In the past six weeks, the National Development and Reform Commission has approved more than one trillion yuan in infrastructure projects, including 28 railway lines.
The NDRC said Tuesday it had just approved 112 billion yuan of investment in roads in southern and western China in addition to the Beijing airport.
It said the new airport would take five years to build, with four runways and a 700,000 square metre terminal building.
It will be able to handle 72 million passengers, 620,000 aircraft and two million tonnes of cargo a year by 2025, the NDRC said.
Beijing has the world’s busiest airport after Atlanta in the United States and is consistently rated as the worst airport for delays.
In some months, fewer than one in five flights leave on time, the newspaper said, citing figures from Flightstats.
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