Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is expected to become one of the world's top five busiest airports by the end of next year.
BCIA said that it will have seen more than 64 million passenger departures and arrivals by the end of 2008, the People's Daily overseas-edition reported Thursday.
Since the beginning of this year, the only international airport of the Chinese capital handled 50 million passengers as of 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, ranking it among the world's top 10 busiest airports.
Atlanta and Chicago of the U.S., London of the U.K. and Tokyo of Japan have the world's busiest airports by both passengers and cargo volumes in past years, latest available statistics show.
A new terminal building is now under construction, largely in order to meet high demands of air transportation during the Olympic season next year.
With No. 3 Terminal being completed in February 2008, the three terminals of the airport would have a total annual transport capacity of about 82 million passengers, the newspaper said.
Besides the terminal construction project, BCIA has invested nearly two billion yuan (266 million U.S. dollars) in upgrading its security checks, service counters, luggage systems and information systems.
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), a regulator oversees China's air transportation, released earlier that it has proposed to build a second international airport in southern suburbs of Beijing.
The proposals are now reviewed by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the final decision will be made by the State Council.
The second international airport, proposed to begin building in 2010 in Daxing District, is expected to alleviate already overheated ground traffic to BCIA and accommodate much more transcontinental flights to China in the years to come, a CAAC official said.