Wednesday, September 24, 2008

World's Biggest Airport - Beijing Airport (Discovery)

Beijing Capital International Airport, (simplified Chinese: 北京首都国际机场; traditional Chinese: 北京首都國際機場; pinyin: Běijīng Shǒudū Guójì Jīchǎng) (IATA: PEK, ICAO: ZBAA) is the main international airport that serves the capital city of Beijing, People's Republic of China. The IATA Airport Code is PEK, reflecting Beijing's former Romanization Peking. The code BJS is also frequently used, reflecting the current pinyin spelling of Beijing and including all airports in the Beijing metropolitan area; currently, Beijing Capital (PEK) is the only civil aviation airport that falls under BJS.

The airport is located 20 km to the northeast of Beijing city center. Although many consider it to lie in Shunyi District, it is, in fact, an exclave of Chaoyang District, Beijing.

The airport is a primary hub of operations for Air China, which flies to around 120 destinations (excluding cargo). It is also a hub for Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The airport expansion is largely funded by a 500-million-euro (USD 625 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan is the largest ever granted by the EIB in Asia; the agreement was signed during the eighth China-EU Summit held in September 2005.[citation needed]

Beijing Capital is today the busiest airport in the People's Republic of China, having registered double-digit growth annually since the SARS crisis of 2003. In 2004, it became the busiest airport in Asia by aircraft movements, overtaking Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). In terms of passengers, Beijing was the second-busiest airport in Asia after Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and ninth-busiest worldwide in 2006. In 2007, it served 53,736,923 passengers and had 399,986 aircraft movements.[1] It was the 23rd busiest airport in terms of traffic movements. It is also the 20th busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic, having moved 1,028,908 million tonnes of cargo in 2006. It operates around 1100 flights a day, and is expected to rise to 1500-1600 at the Olympics in 2008.

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