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New runway of Beijing airport to become operational this month
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The third runway of Beijing's Capital International Airport will be put into use on Oct. 29, which is expected to provide solid support to the country's busiest airport.


The new runway, 3,800 meters in length and 60 meters in width, has passed the examination held by the General Administration of Civil Aviation and will be mainly used for landing, said a senior official of the airport.


The airport has successfully tested the simultaneous use of three runways on Sept. 26.


"The new runway is able to accommodate the largest airliner in the world -- Airbus A380," said Zhang Zhizhong, the airport's general manager.


The operation of the runway also makes the Beijing airport the first among its Asian peers to have three runways in use simultaneously, said Zhang.


The airport presently has two runways and two terminals with a combined capacity to handle 35 million passengers a year. However, it is hard to meet the transport need as official forecasts show the peak monthly passenger arrival at the airport will hit 5.56 million during the 2008 Olympics.


To prepare for the Olympics, the airport has been expanding since March 2004.


The enlarged airport will be able to accommodate 60 million passengers and handle 1.8 million tons of cargo each year.


The expansion project includes the construction of a third runway, a new terminal building covering 420,000 square meters, 100 new aprons, a cargo zone and auxiliary facilities.


The arrival and departure capacity would increase from 80 flights to 105 to 115 flights per hour when the third terminal goes into operation in February next year.


(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2007)


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