Beijing Daxing International Airport, the largest single terminal airport in the world, was inaugurated by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
An 11-million-square-foot star-shaped structure, the airport was designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and should be able to handle 72 million passengers a year.
Construction of the Daxing airport was completed in less than five years, at a cost $17 billion.
After an opening ceremony featuring speeches and dancing, the airport’s first commercial flight, a China Southern Airlines plane bound for the southern province of Guangdong, took off on Wednesday afternoon reported the Associated Press.
The airport was reportedly built to ease pressure and overcrowding at Beijing’s existing airport, the world’s second-busiest after Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport.
The airport is equipped with a 5G-based smart travel system jointly introduced by Huawei Technologies, China Eastern Airlines and China Unicom, reported The South China Morning Post. This enables facial recognition for check-in and security clearance, and provide a paperless luggage service. Field tests showed that the 5G speed exceeded 1.2 Gbit per second, about 100 times faster than the current 4G system, according to a Huawei press release, reported the Hong Kong newspaper.