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Third airport for logjammed Beijing

China's capital is to get a massive third airport to reduce congestion and chronic delays.

The new airport will be 29 miles south of Beijing's city centre and will take five years to build, according to news reports.

When completed, it will handle 72 million passengers a year, taking the pressure off Beijing Capital International Airport in the city's north east that is the world's second-busiest, handling more than 83 million passengers last year.

A second airport, Nanyuan, is a former military airfield with limited capacity.

China is splashing out on specific infrastructure as part of efforts to limit its economic slowdown. Beijing's is the third airport to get the go-ahead in just the last month, while feasibility studies for five other projects were approved in October.

State planning agency the National Development and Reform Commission has set the airport's construction budget at just over £8.2 billion.

Designed by Netherlands Airport Consultants, it will have a 7,500,000 sq ft main terminal and capacity to process two million tons of cargo a year.

The airport will be connected to Beijing by a 41-mile light railway line with travel times under 30 minutes.

China's fast growing air travel market is the world's second biggest, but the heavy air traffic and tight control of airspace by the military have given it the world's worst record for flight delays.

Flight cancelations and delays have sparked frequent incidents of air rage aboard Chinese flights and at airports.

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