Congested airport slows carriers
China - Congestion at Beijing's only airport may slow airline growth, despite a projected growth in passenger numbers this year.
Air China's chairman Kong Dong says the country is considering building a second airport in Beijing. However, that will not ease congestion in the near future as construction will take at least five years if the plan bears fruit.
Beijing Capital International Airport is now operating near full capacity due to a growing demand for air travel in the country. Carriers looking to increase flights have said it has been harder to secure take-off and landing slots at the airport.
The airport handled 65.4 million passengers in 2009, a 17% increase from the previous year. It is expected to handle 72-75 million passengers this year, "which is close to its designed handling capacity of 80 million", says Kong.
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