February 26, 2012 / 9:48 AM / 7 years ago

New Beijing airport touted as world's busiest: media

A plane flies in the polluted air above the airport fences in Beijing February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s capital Beijing will begin construction this year of an airport that is likely to replace Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States as the world’s busiest, local media said on Sunday.

The online edition of Caijing magazine put the cost at 30.2 billion yuan. It did not say how it would be funded.

With nine runways, the new airport will handle more than 130 million passengers and 5.5 million tonnes of cargo annually, China Radio International said.

The airport, yet to be named, will cover an area of 2,680 hectares (6,620 acres), the online edition of Beijing Youth Daily said, quoting an unidentified airline executive.

Located in Daxing, 46 km (28 miles) south of Tiananmen Square, Beijing’s political centre, construction is due to be completed in October 2017.

Beijing’s two exisiting airports have reached their maximum handling capacities.

Reporting by Benjamin Kang Lim

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