BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Beijing plans to build a new airport in its southern suburbs in Daxing District, which borders Hebei Province, according to a press briefing here on Tuesday.
The new airport project was approved by the State Council and the Central Military Commission by the end of 2012, said Shao Heng, deputy chief of the government office of Daxing District, at a press conference focused on spurring the development of Beijing's southern suburbs.
Construction on the new airport is expected to start in 2014.Preparation for the construction work is underway, Shao said.
The new airport will serve as a new engine for Beijing's economic development and a new landmark for the capital, said Zhao Lei, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform.
Meanwhile, an air transport-related economic zone is also planned, with an investment of 84 billion yuan (13.39 billion U.S. dollars), Shao said.
Upon completion, the new airport is expected to alleviate traffic pressure on the Beijing Capital International Airport, which remained the world's second-busiest airport in 2012 in terms of passenger throughput. Its passenger volume grew 4.2 percent year on year to reach 81.8 million passengers in 2012, according to a statement published by the airport in January.