Flying into Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport, you could be forgiven for wondering how everyone managed with the original international airport in this city.
Touted as the world’s largest and most expensive airport at $63 billion, ‘the Phoenix’ as it is known, is setting new standards in airport design and functionality. Whether you regard it as a symbol of success as the Chinese do, or a sign of renewal, there’s no doubt this Phoenix is going places.
Beijing Daxing International Airport was officially opened just prior to China’s recent 70th anniversary. With a build time of five years, a 7.5 million square foot terminal, currently handling 300 flights every hour, and a future capacity for 100 million passengers annually by 2040, Daxing stacks up with some impressive statistics.
More than just a place for planes to come and go, Daxing International Airport is considered a mega-airport. In time, pundits believe it will rank right alongside Singapore’s Changji and Qatar’s Hamad airports, and with good reason.
We’ve put together this list of seven surprising facts you should know before you land in Beijing to kick off your China tour.
#1 Daxing International Airport: The airport you build when one is not enough
Nobody would argue that China is a super busy place, not least because of the sheer number of people.
Add to the nearly 1.5 billion people who live there, inbound foreigners to the country for business, personal, and tourism purposes (estimated at around 30.5 million a year and growing), and it’s easy to see how infrastructure – like the original Beijing international airport could be stretched.
It was this realization which prompted the development of the new Daxing International Airport.
Interested in more Daxing International Airport trivia? Check out these fun facts.
#2 Inspired design is at the heart of the Daxing Airport
The unusual airport design was created by female architect Zaha Hadid. In her words, the airport design “evolved from principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organise interconnected spaces around a central courtyard”.
Some will say the main building’s likeness to a phoenix is a stretch and that it’s more like a starfish or hand, however this is a debate on semantics. Wherever your imagination takes you, there’s no doubting the building profiles the late architect’s signature curvilinear designs, which also features many elements of sustainability and green design.
You can visit Daxing Airport and feel reassured that careful consideration has been given to environmental concerns.
#3 Advanced technologies make Daxing Airport the departure lounge of the future
Fifty years ago we could only dream about robots that provide customer service and facial recognition technology, however at Daxing Airport, these advanced technologies are de rigueur. Facial scans will be used for flight check-ins and airport security checks. Airline staff will even use it to help passengers find their seats.
And the futuristic technology doesn’t stop there.
Check in or arrive at Daxing on any given day and you’ll find real time baggage tracking, paperless boarding, renewable energy via ground source heating and solar energy. In fact, renewable energy represents over ten percent of the total amount of energy used at the airport (more than any other in China).
There will also be a 5G base station where you can while away the minutes and hours as you wait for your flight. Expect to power up your experience with augmented reality, cloud computing, and other technologies. Overall the approach to technology here is to create an integrated system that is available to travelers, airlines, and airport officials.
#4 Daxing Airport is user-friendly
Arrive at any major international airport and you’ll know the challenge it is to travel between terminals, especially when you have a connecting flight to catch. Daxing Airport solves that problem.
As a single terminal airport, there is no need to commute between terminals. In fact, the distance between security checkpoints to the furthest departure gate is just 600 meters – less than eight minutes’ walk.
#5 Did someone say airport shopping?
Somehow everything in airport shops looks just that little bit shinier and appealing, doesn’t it? The creators of Daxing Airport must know it too.
Shopping here at Daxing has been taken up a notch. Expect to find regular duty free options combined with luxury and fashion brands.
Sound like fun? Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you! Just be sure to hang onto some spending money for your trip!
#6 Daxing Airport is easy to reach
China’s experience at moving huge volumes of people via its massive train network is paying off.
Planners have brought that knowledge to bear on the railway connecting the airport. Incredibly, you’ll complete the trip from Caoqiao Station in Beijing to Daxing Airport in just 19 minutes on a self-driving train traveling at speeds up to 160 kilometers per hour.
But wait. There’s more!
Daxing Airport is connected underground too, with the Beijing-Xiongan intercity railway. Plans are already underway to extend these connections to link with Tianjin in the very near future.
Quite simply, it’s all part of a grander plan to bring development to the wider region, particularly southern Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.
#7 Who’s making Daxing International Airport their home?
Planning a trip to China and landing at Daxing? Expect to find big names in airlines making it their home.
It’s reported that China Eastern Airlines is expanding its operations and customer base through its partnership with Delta, Air France and other Skyteam members. American Airlines, British Airlines, and 10 domestic carriers are also moving operations to Daxing, drawn by the appeal of everything that’s shiny and new.
Final word on the runway
Daxing International Airport is setting the standard for airports all around the world. With its design, technology, attention to green building principles, and creating a user experience beyond compare, arriving here for a China tour certainly sets the scene for what’s to come.
Traveling to and from Daxing International Airport is simple.
Depart from Caoqiao station near the South Third Ring Road, take the 160km/hour train to Daxing Airport. Arrive at floor B2 floor in less than 20 minutes.
Drive from South Fifth Ring Road along the Daxing Airport Expressway for 27 kilometers and arrive at Daxing within half an hour.
By Jingxiong Intercity Railway：
Travel from Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing CBD and arrive at Daxing International Airport in 20 minutes.
ChinaTours.com understands the importance of creating memorable and unique experiences for our customers. We’re excited to be welcoming travelers at Daxing International Airport and feel our approach to taking care of customers is closely aligned. Having designed and delivered China tours specifically with the needs of western travelers in mind, our insights to creating the very best China tours are unsurpassed. Whether you seek a custom or private tour, or are happy to travel in one of our small group tours (maximum 12 travelers), we’re committed to creating beautiful travel memories for our guests. If you’re ready to enjoy China’s rich history, culture, cuisine and people, we’d love an opportunity to be of service and welcome you to Beijing when you arrive at Daxing.