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Beijing's 2nd int'l airport expected to operate around 2015
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Beijing is expected to put a second international airport into use around 2015 to ease traffic pressure, a top official with China's civil aviation administration said on Wednesday.


The present airport will see its passenger flow exceed 60 million this year, seven years earlier than anticipated, said Yang Guoqing, deputy head of China's General Administration of Civil Aviation (CAAC).


The CAAC had submitted a report to the central government on the selection of a site for a second international airport, which was still undecided, said Yang. He said that the selection process was complicated, involving the distribution of airspace and passenger flows, regional economic development and the environment.


There have been reports that the new facility would be located on the plains near the Yongding River to the south of the city, in neighboring Hebei Province, or in Tianjin Municipality.


Before the new facility opens, the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), the only international airport in the host city of the upcoming Olympics, will finish the construction of a third passenger terminal and a 340,000 square-meter traffic center.


The airport, China's busiest, handled 53.47 million passengers last year, putting it among the world's 10 busiest airports.


The Olympic Games, to be held in Beijing this August, are expected to bring more passengers to the capital.


The third terminal will start operation on February 29, with an area of 986,000 square meters, more than doubling the current two terminals' total area, said Zhang Guobao, head of the leading team in charge of the expansion project, on Wednesday.


Advanced technology will be adopted at the terminal, including a luggage transmitting system with automatic sorting function and a highest transmission speed of seven meters per second, offering greater convenience, said Zhang.


(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)

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