China’s Daxing International Airport, which boasts of having the world’s biggest terminal, was officially opened in a ceremony presided over by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
The airport’s terminal is 700,000 square metres in size, designed to handle 72 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo annually by 2025. This will in the long run ease congestion at Beijing Capital International Airport, which often sees capacity constraints leading to issues like flight delays.
According to airport officials, the terminal can accommodate 300 takeoffs and landings every hour.
Some of the special design features of the airport include:
- Customer service robots to provide travellers with flight updates and airport information.
- Infrared temperature gauges.
- Facial recogntion check-ins that detect any radioactive materials.
- Radio frequency identification devices for baggage tracking.
- Four runways and one millitary runway.
Construction of the airport, which has taken less than five years, cost $17 billion, offering more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs at its peak.
Reports indicate that the airline’s first commercial flight, a China Southern Airlines plane bound for the southern province of Guangdong, took off Wednesday afternoon. Six more flights took off later for Shanghai and other destinations.
Other carriers that are set to move to Daxing International Airport include British Airways, China Eastern, Finnair, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Maroc and China Southern, which is the country’s biggest airline by passengers.