Beijing Capital Airport Invites Bids For Fourth Runway

Beijing Capital currently has three runways.
Credit: Google Maps

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) has called for tenders for laying a fourth runway, part of a larger upgrade program for the facility made possible by the opening of another airport in the capital region in 2019.

Terminal remodeling is another major element of the upgrade.

The fourth runway will be 2,400-m (7,900-ft.) long, according to an industry source. This is shorter than the 2,800-3,000 m mentioned in earlier official descriptions, which also stated that the strip would be used mainly for landing and would be close to, and to the east of, the current easternmost runway.

Officials mentioned the possibility of a fourth runway in 2003, but in 2008 the government ruled out any such project, saying there would be no more major works at Capital. The idea was mentioned again from time to time in the 2010s, even as plans developed for Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX).

The current easternmost runway at Capital was built with provisions for taxiways on its eastern side.

The opening of Daxing in September 2019 took pressure off Capital, creating an opportunity to temporarily reduce capacity there while implementing improvements. The scope of intended changes to terminals has not been disclosed, but probably only the older T1 and T2 will be get major changes. The enormous T3 was completed in 2007.

Land transport links will also be improved, the airport operating company said. The facility has suffered from badly congested approach roads at times of peak usage.

The company’s deputy president, Han Zhiliang, said last year that the improvements would cost CNY38.8 billion ($5.9 billion).

Bradley Perrett

Bradley Perrett covered China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. He is a Mandarin-speaking Australian.