4 jets fly into new Beijing airport on test flights

2019-05-14 03:55:03 GMT2019-05-14 11:55:03(Beijing Time) Sina English
A China Southern Airlines' A380 Superjumbo lands at the new Daxing airport in Beijing on Monday to test the airport's passenger aircraft handling capability. A China Southern Airlines' A380 Superjumbo lands at the new Daxing airport in Beijing on Monday to test the airport's passenger aircraft handling capability.

Chinese carriers flew into Beijing's new mega airport on Monday for test flights as the sprawling air hub gears up for its grand opening in September.

Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Xiamen airlines dispatched passenger aircraft Boeing 747-8, Airbus 350, Airbus 380 and Boeing 787-9, respectively, to Daxing International Airport for verification tests.

No passengers were onboard. The carriers had deployed an elite crew to conduct the test flights. Officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the airlines were also onboard.

The jets took off from the Beijing Capital International Airport in the morning and landed at the Daxing airport. After getting the ground clearance, the planes took off from the new airport for the capital's main airport.

Feng Zhenglin, head of the CAAC, was on board China Southern's A380 Superjumbo in the first flight. The Flight CZ7777 took off at 9:03am and landed at the new airport at 9:29am, proving that the Daxing airport can handle the world's largest passenger aircraft.

Zhang Tao, 50, has been a captain with China Southern for 25 years. He is also a trainer for A380 pilots.

"The test flight was smooth and stable," Zhang said after the test flight. "The navigation and supportive facilities at the airport also operated smoothly."

The four aircraft types were chosen because they were double-aisle passenger jets, said Wan Xiongdong, chief pilot with the CAAC.

"If the airports can serve these four aircraft types, it means they can handle all the aircraft in the world," Wan said. 

The four aircraft landed and took off from the four runways at the new airport.

The test flights verified almost a dozen flying procedures, including approaching, landing and takeoff, said Yan Xiaodong, deputy director of the Daxing air traffic control center.

To make way for the flights, the air traffic controller issued a yellow alert in the morning over the Beijing airspace and forecast that takeoff and landing capacities would be reduced by 30 percent until 1pm.

The first test flight at the new airport was on January 22.

Daxing airport is scheduled to be completed by June 30 and expected to open on September 30. It aims to meet the country's soaring air-service demand and relieve the capital airport of the tight flight pressure.

The new airport near the junction of Beijing's Daxing District and Langfang in north Hebei Province is expected to handle 45 million passengers annually by 2021 and 72 million by 2025, making it one of the busiest airports in the world on par with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States.

Covering a land area of 47 square kilometers, the new airport will be double the size of the capital airport, which is currently the largest airport in China.

Four runways will be ready when the airport opens in autumn with a total of seven runways planned to handle the growing number of air travelers.

China Eastern and China Southern airlines will relocate 10 percent of their flights to Daxing airport. China United Airlines, Capital Airlines, Hebei Airlines and Xiamen Airlines will also be among the first batch of carriers to relocate to the new facility.

China Eastern will keep operating most of its Beijing-Shanghai express flights to the capital airport, but relocate some flights to the Daxing airport in winter, the Shanghai-based carrier said.

Apart from them, over 50 domestic and overseas carriers have announced that they would set up bases at the new airport.


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