A staff member uses China Eastern Airlines' facial recognition system at Beijing Daxing International Airport on Wednesday. Passengers will be able to get their boarding passes with the help of the system without showing any ID cards. (Photo by Zou Hong/For China Daily)
Beijing Daxing International Airport will be qualified to handle flights on Sept 15, taking a big step forward toward its official opening before Sept 30, according to the airport authority on Wednesday.
The new airport, after a six-month evaluation, will soon get an operating license from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the facility will welcome the first batch of flights soon, said Qian Yuanyuan, manager of the airport's operations management department.
"In the opening ceremony of the new airport, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China will each send a flagship airplane to take off from the airport," she said, adding that China United Airlines, Capital Airlines and Hebei Airlines are expected to have one plane each landing at the airport.
Though the specific opening date of the airport has so far not been finalized by the administration, China Southern Airlines said on Tuesday in a WeChat post attracting passengers for its first flight that the date will be around Sept 20.
The new airport will conduct its sixth full-scale test run on Friday to further assess its operational readiness and fix possible problems, Qian said.
Since July 19, the airport has undergone 750 tests involving over 500 flights and 50,000 simulated passengers.
The new airport has adopted a variety of self-service and other advanced technologies, including self-service check-in and smart security checks to save time for passengers, according to Wang Hui, manager of the terminal management department.
"The airport has over 400 self-service check-in kiosks, which means over 80 percent of check-ins will be self-service and require passengers to line up for no more than 10 minutes," he said. "And its smart security check channels are able to handle 260 passengers per hour, 40 percent faster than using the traditional means."
Passengers will be able to enjoy a completely paperless boarding experience since the airport uses facial recognition technology in boarding procedures, he added.
The new airport is designed to take pressure off the overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport. By 2025, the new airport is expected to handle 72 million passengers a year. By 2040, that number is expected to grow to 100 million.