Site Visit: Beijing Daxing International Airport


The Yenching Academy was invited to the construction site of Beijing’s Daxing International Airport on May 18th. Yenching Academy students and staff were welcomed by administrators from Beijing Urban Construction Group (北京城建集团), a state owned enterprise in charge of the project. 

The visit began with a statement regarding the airport’s construction and mission from Mr. Huang Yi. According to Mr. Huang the project broke ground on March 15th, 2016. Plans for initiating the Beijing Daxing International Airport were indicated in the city’s 12th five-year plan. According to President Xi Jinping, who inspected the site on March 23, 2017, the establishment of this new airport is “a motivating force of development that is important for promoting the integrated regional cooperation between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei”.

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This “integrated regional cooperation” will primarily be made possible by the new airports location. According to a map shown to the students by Mr. Huang, the airport will be located within less than 60km of key national projects. These projects include: the “Xiongan New Area”, slated for new development in 2017, and Beijing’s Capital Airport. The Daxing International airport will be accessible to these regions by China’s high-speed railway, interregional city transportation and highway networks.

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Mr. Zhao Haichuan further indicated the core missions of the airport exhibited in its architecture and design. He stated that a prime mission of the airport was to set new standards in design and create a new prototype for airports around the world. In the realm of creating a new prototype, the airport is 100% green and is designed to reduce noise pollution. In order to help the students understand the scope of the airport’s design, Mr. Zhao allowed the The Yenching Academy to visit the terminal area.

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The terminal area is unique because of its network of interlinked steel bars. The columns were created using enough steel to wrap around Beijing’s 5th ring road. Although grey steel was used in its construction, the area is made warm by the pre-designed gaps in its high ceilings that allow large amounts of natural light to enter the space. A large interwoven steel column stands at the center of the terminal area and acts as a focal point of design.

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The Yenching Academy’s visit to Beijing Daxing International Airport construction site was unique. Students were given an inside look at Beijing’s development and the future of China’s transportation network and were inspired by the scope of the project. Construction of the airport will conclude in 2019.

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by Alexandria Williams