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3rd Runway in Beijing Airport to Be Put to Use

The newly built third runway at Beijing's Capital International Airport (BCIA) has passed the examination and acceptance of China's civil aviation authority, and will be put to use on October 29.

It is part of an expansion project which also includes the construction of a new terminal building covering 420,000 square meters, 100 new aprons, a cargo zone and auxiliary facilities, which would enable the airport to accommodate 60 million passengers and handle 1.8 million tons of cargo each year.

The examination group from the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) said the runway construction is up to required standards.

Yang Guoqing, deputy head of CAAC urged the airport to prepare emergency and transition plans and intensify training to ensure safe operation.

Official forecasts show the peak monthly passenger arrivals at the airport will hit 5.56 million during the Olympics, which is equivalent to the normal transport volume predicted for 2015.

The airport presently has two runways and two terminals with a combined capacity of handling 35 million passengers a year. It has been expanding since March 2004 to prepare for the Olympics.

The airport's arrival and departure capacity would increase from 80 flights to 115 flights per hour when the third terminal goes into operation in February next year, said BCIA controlling office director Yang Fei.

(Xinhua News Agency October 21, 2007)

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