In an effort to address the all-too-frequent flight delays at China’s busiest airport, Beijing Capital International Airport plans to increase the amount of ground resources and decrease the number of daily flights, The Straits Times reports.
The airport will also make improvements to runway operations, the taxiing system and shuttles. It will also allot more ground space to planes, rework flight schedules and cut down on the number of daily flights, which should help make the entire system more efficient.
The announcement was made by airport president Han Zhiliang on Wednesday.
"The utilization rate of slots capacity has reached 98 percent at the airport... while data show that a reasonable slots capacity percentage for a large-scale hub airport is 80 percent," Han said.
“The heavy slot arrangement at a busy airport lowers the ability to respond to extreme weather and emergencies, increasing the possibility of causing large-scale and lengthy delays," he added. "Once extreme weather or an emergency happens at the hub airport, punctuality will fall like dominoes, causing delays. At the Beijing International schedule screen, it is rare to see a blank slot from morning to night. Nearly all slots have been allocated to airliners.”
According to Han, 103 flights an hour travel through the airport during its busiest hours. However, the standard is substantially lower at 88 per hour.
According to one aviation expert, the goal is to cut the number of flights from the capital to smaller cities. Instead, those flights will depart from Tianjin and Shijiazhuang airports. Both cities are becoming increasingly easy to visit thanks to improvements made to the area's high-speed rail network.
Along with these changes, Beijing Capital International Airport also plans to increase the number of international flights in the near future.
Beijing Capital International Airport received 94 million passengers last year – though it was only built to handle 82 million. It’s also been ranked the second busiest airport in the world for seven years in a row. These changes should help ease congestion and improve on the airport’s overall efficiency.
Things should improve drastically in 2019, when Beijing’s massive new airport is set to open.
[Image via South China Morning Post]