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  • China is no stranger to record-breaking infrastructure projects.

  • Already home to the world's largest dam, longest ocean crossing and most extensive

  • high-speed rail network, the country has now completed one of the largest airports ever conceived.

  • Home to one of the world's largest economies, the demand for air travel in and out of China is extreme.

  • As the nation's centre of political power - and as the second-largest city in a country

  • of more than 1.3BN people - the pressure on Beijing is particularly intense.

  • Plans for a second international airport were first proposed in 2008, while the existing

  • Beijing Capital International was undergoing a USD $3.5BN expansion ahead of the summer

  • Olympic Games.

  • Despite these works, forecasts predicted that, even with its expansion to cater for 83 million

  • passengers annually, the airport would exceed its capacity within just a few years of the

  • extension being completed.

  • Sure enough, the facility reached capacity in 2012 and by 2016 more than 100 million

  • passengers were travelling through the airport each year.

  • To alleviate pressure on the existing airport and safeguard Beijing's economic growth,

  • a new hub was conceived.

  • With initial proposals suggesting nine runways and capacity for more than 200 million passengers

  • each year, the vast Daxing International was originally intended to replace Beijing Capital

  • as the city's main airport.

  • However, in 2014 the decision was taken to operate both facilities simultaneously and

  • to scale back the new airport's design.

  • Initially constructed with four runways and capacity for 72 million passengers each year,

  • Daxing International can be expanded to seven runways and could serve up to 100 million

  • passengers annually when fully developed.

  • Plans for the new airport were released by Zaha Hadid Architects in early 2015.

  • Collaborating with airport specialists ADPI on the main terminal building, Hadid moved away from the

  • linear model of airport design - which often created sprawling facilities - and instead

  • introduced a six-pointed star arrangement that puts passengers less than 600 metres

  • - around an 8-minute walk - from any departure gate.

  • While one arm of the building operates as an administrative centre, the remaining five

  • accommodate the airport's 79 departure gates.

  • Daxing International incorporates a number of high-speed rail and metro links to Beijing

  • and the surrounding provinces.

  • The airport will have a dedicated stop on the new Beijing-Xiong-an Intercity Railway

  • - placing it just 20 minutes from Beijing - while the Intercity Railway Connector will

  • provide a direct link to Beijing Capital International and neighbouring regions.

  • There will also be a link to the city's subway system.

  • While many airport links around the world deliver passengers to the outskirts of facilities,

  • the numerous connections to Daxing International will arrive beneath the terminal, enabling

  • direct access to the departure levels.

  • In order to withstand the vibrations caused by high-speed trains that can travel up to

  • 250km/h beneath the terminal in an active seismic zone, 1,000 anti-seismic isolation

  • bearings were built into the terminal's ground floor slab allowing the structure to

  • withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale.

  • With 197,000 passengers expected to use the airport each day, Daxing International will

  • operate a largelypaperlesssystem that features AI facial recognition at check-in,

  • self-service bag drop facilities and real-time mobile baggage tracking.

  • It will also be the first airport in the world to operate vertically stacked dual departure and arrival floors.

  • This approach enables faster check-in and security screenings while significantly reducing

  • the distances that passengers travel between connecting flights.

  • Extending for over a million square metres, Daxing International's terminal building

  • is one of the largest single structures ever built.

  • Formed from over 1.6 million cubic metres of concrete and some 52,000 tonnes of steel,

  • the building integrates photovoltaic (PV) panels and rainwater harvesting systems across

  • its vast undulating roof.

  • Reaching practical completion in 2018, the first flight inspections took place in January

  • 2019 while finishing touches were made to the terminal building's interior.

  • While the airport offers many of the retail, dining and entertainment options found in

  • most hubs, Daxing International will also feature an interactive pet hotel, childcare

  • and nursery facilities and hybrid online retail and dining experiences for passengers.

  • Meanwhile, on the runways, aircraft taking off and landing will be protected from birds

  • or civilian drones by an Israeli AI software monitoring system.

  • The entire airport cost almost USD $12BN to deliver. While this makes it easily one of

  • the world's largest construction projects, it is notably less than the projected USD

  • $17BN required to construct a third runway at London Heathrow.

  • Having now completed its operational testing, Daxing International is set to welcome its

  • first flight on 30 September 2019, less than five years since construction works first began.

  • If you enjoyed this video and would like to get more from the definitive video channel

  • for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

China is no stranger to record-breaking infrastructure projects.

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Building China's $12BN Mega Airport | The B1M

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    Zenn posted on 2019/09/19
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