API magazine
October 1, 2020
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China opened Beijing Daxing Airport on September 25, the second international airport in the capital city. The new mega-airport hub is expected to handle up to 45 million passengers per year by 2021 and reach an outstanding 100 million in the future. (1)

The gigantic Daxing airport, with the impressive shape which has given it the nickname “Starfish”, has enormous dimensions. At the time being, there are 4 runways (with the prospect of becoming 7 in the future) and a vast terminal building covering a 700.000m² area. The entire space of the airport is more than half the size of Hong Kong. (2)

The terminal building of the new airport is the “child” of the late architect Zaha Hadid and bears all the qualities of her work. The Starfish of Beijing as it is often called because of its shape covers a 1.000.000m2 area and has a large central space and 6 “tentacles”, resembling a giant “octopus”. Its golden roof has scattered windows allowing the natural light to illuminate the whole place. (2)

Watch this video and get impressed by the wonderful architecture of Beijing Daxing Airport

Daxing airport will pioneer the use of double-deck departure and arrival platforms and will be equipped with latest-technology services such as facial-recognition equipment and baggage-tracking systems. Aiming to be one of a kind, the new airport could only be extremely environmentally friendly. Low-carbon policies, solar panels and systems collecting the rainwater in order to further use it, are only some examples of the general philosophy that will inspire the airport’s operation.

What’s more, the whole design of Daxing airport is sparked by Chinese tradition and culture. Typical Chinese touches will be combined with futuristic elements while there will be five outdoor traditional Chinese gardens. (2)

Asia-Pacific region largest market share

The new Daxing airport is set to vie with Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta for the title of world’s busiest airport by passenger numbers.

The Asia-Pacific region, which is home to many emerging markets, already has the largest share of hub-airport traffic, with 23 airports of more than 40 mppa. North America follows, with 17 mega-hubs (see Chart 1). In 2018, the 17 North American airports with over 40 mppa provided 31% of total large-hub traffic worldwide. Asia-Pacific’s large hubs have a 42% share of global traffic. (3)

Number of airports with >40 mppa by region (2008–2018)

Source: ACI World Airport Traffic Database, 2019

(1) Daxing Airport... (2019, September 26). Retrieved September 27, 2019, from
(2) Zaha Hadid Architects. (2019, October 1). Retrieved October 2, 2019, from
(3) The eastward shift and the world’s fastest-growing airports (2019 , Oct9) Retrieved October 2, 2019 from