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Terminal delay for new airport? (2)

By Deng Jingyin  (Global Times)

09:40, October 28, 2011

"We don't need to waste money and resources building a new airport since passengers can be transferred to Binhai Airport, which is near Beijing," Yao told the Global Times Thursday.

Yao has garnered support for his suggestions. Some Web users have agreed that perhaps such large capital-intensive projects are not right in today's economic climate.

Sina Weibo user "Baxitaishou" said "the investment for this infrastructure project is huge, and the decision [to proceed] should be suitable for the current economic situation."

Construction was to originally commence by the end of this year, costing 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion). Total investment in the airport, including the facilities, is expected to reach 100 billion yuan, according to the plan.

The airport was due to be put into service in 2016, and have an annual capacity of 40 million passengers, rising in future.

A staff member from BCIA's news center said that they have not received any notice about delays to the new airport project.

"We have no information to provide about the construction delay and can't reveal any details about this project," he said.

BCIA is expected to handle more than 80 million passengers this year, up 8 percent from last year but slower than last year's growth rate of 13.1 percent, said Zhang Guanghui, general manager of BCIA, at the China Aviation Congress in September.

Transportation experts say there may be more economic solutions.

"BCIA is now the second largest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the number is expected to reach its planned capacity of 82 million passengers by 2012, so to some extent, we need another airport to handle increased passenger numbers," said Li Xiaojin, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China.

However, he pointed out that from the angle of economics, to add runways to BCIA may be a more efficient method compared with constructing a new airport.

"We can increase the number of exit and entry ports, runways or air routes, so as to actively make use of the existing resources," Li said.

According to the China Times, BCIA plans to build two new runways, together with expanding the airspace.

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