The new airport project was approved at the end of 2012, as part of efforts to spur the development of Beijing's southern suburbs. Construction of a new airport in south Beijing started in December 2014, and the facility is expected to be completed and put into use by end of 2019.
The airport has not been given an official name yet. It is located between Beijing's Daxing district and the suburbs of Hebei's Langfang city. It is 46 kilometers south of Beijing's center. Straight-line distance to Beijing Capital International Airport is 67 km.
The concept design of Beijing's new airport, which will be the world's largest passenger airport when it is fully constructed, is shaped like a starfish.
The terminal is expected to boast 82 independent gate positions, covering a length of 5 km and an area of 700,000 square meters.
Zhu Wenxin, spokesman for the Beijing New Airport Construction Headquarters, said the facility, which will cost nearly 80 billion yuan (US$13.1 billion), is designed to handle around 45 million passengers each year from 2019 to 2025.
By 2025 it's expected the airport will handle 72 million passenger trips, 620,000 departures and arrivals, and 2 million metric tons of cargo and mail annually.
The long-term goal is 100 million passenger trips and 4 million metric tons of cargo and mail.
Currently, Beijing has two airports that serve commercial flights - Beijing Capital International and Beijing Nanyuan International. It is expected that Beijing Nanyuan International will be closed.
Two of the four biggest Chinese air carriers, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines - currently at Beijing Capital - will move their main operations to the new facility and will account for four-fifths of its traffic.
Beijing Capital, the busiest airport in China, handled more than 90 million passenger trips last year, but demand exceeds the airport's design capacity. Passenger throughput was 94.4 million in 2016, though the facility was designed for 82 million, said Han Zhiliang, president of the airport, at a conference in September.