China’s NDRC Approves New $12.9 Billion Beijing Airport

China’s top economic planning agency approved plans for a second international airport in Beijing at a cost of 80 billion yuan ($12.9 billion), aiming to ease congestion at the capital city’s main hub.

A civil aviation development fund will provide 18 billion yuan, while state-owned Capital Airports Holding Co. will contribute 6 billion yuan and private funding will be “aggressively” pursued, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement Monday.

China’s growing middle class is fueling a travel boom in the world’s second-largest economy. Air-travel demand in Asia is projected to expand 5.7 percent in the four years through 2017, the second-fastest pace in the world, with routes within or connected to China being the single largest driver, according to an International Air Transport Association study last year.

The new airport will be built in the south of the city, the agency said. Beijing Capital International Airport, which served 83.7 million passengers in 2013, was the busiest in the world last year after Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, according to Airports Council International.

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