The expansion project of the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) passed a final inspection by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Tuesday, marking the successful end of the work that started three years and nine months ago.
The project, which cost 27 billion yuan (3.65 billion U.S. dollars), is also the first officially accepted large construction project for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games that start next August.
A spokesman for the CAAC said the completion of the project has cleared the way for the planned operation of the new airport tower in February.
The project is aimed at increasing the throughput capacity at Beijing airport in 2015, when it would be 76 million passengers, 1.8 million tons of cargo and more than 500,000 aircraft movements a year.
The expansion covers 1,467 hectares, or 1.6 times the former space. A third runway with a length of 3,800 meters has been built in the eastern part of the airport, which can be used for jumbo jets such as the A380. It also added 125 plane parking lots to the airport.
The project includes the new No. 3 airport tower, which is the largest in the world with a floor space of 986,000 square meters, as well as affiliated buildings such as a car park and communications center, a new cargo zone, and zones for special planes and private planes.
At present, BCIA is set up to handle 35 million passengers annually. But as of Dec. 5, it had already served more than 50 million passengers.