By Cailey Rizzo
May 08, 2019
Xiaodong Qiu/Getty Images

Beijing Daxing International Airport — which is set to become the world’s biggest airport when it opens later this year — announced that it will begin test flights next week.

These test flights won’t be like normally scheduled commercial flights. Aircraft from Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines will land at the airport on the morning of May 13. After receiving ground clearance, they will take off again. The whole process is expected to take less than one hour.

According to the newspaper Beijing Youth Daily, the airport’s four runways and taxis passed inspection last week. The newspaper says work is progressing on schedule for the airport’s opening later this year.

Both China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines will use the airport as their new base when it opens.

The terminal, designed by Zaha Hadid, will be 700,000 square meters, and include separate passenger areas for domestic and international travel. It is expected to become the world’s largest airport in terms of surface area.

All work on the airport is expected to be completed by June 30. The airport is expected to open to the public on Sept. 30. By 2021, 45 million passengers are expected to pass through the airport annually. By 2025, that number is expected to grow to 72 million.

China has one of the fastest-growing travel markets in the world. Of the 20 fastest-growing airports in the world, 11 are located in China alone.

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