Beijing Daxing International Airport attracting 70,000 sightseers a day

Even though it has been open for less than two months, like all rock stars, China's $25.5-billion Beijing Daxing International Airport already has a nickname – the Starfish – as well as a snappy acronym – PKX (its IATA code).  Fans are flocking to see it, too, as also happens when you're a rock star.  It is the world's largest single-building airport (or self-proclaimed world's biggest airport, period) and set to welcome 72 million passengers and 6.35 million tonnes of cargo by 2025, yet in its first few weeks of operation, admirers outnumbered commuters.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China reported that as of mid-October, departing and arriving passengers numbered a modest daily average of 12,400. The average number of daily sightseers, meanwhile, was more than 70,000.

However, on October 27, the 70-hectare (or more impressively stated, 97-soccer-fields-large) facility began handling international flights and in coming months, will increasingly share the passenger load with Beijing International Airport - the world's second busiest behind Atlanta.  Beijing International processes 100 million passengers a year and counting, as more mainland Chinese citizens travel more often.

Authorities hope PKX remains a tourist attraction as well.

Certainly, architecture buffs have plenty to look at; it's one of the last projects of the late Iraqi-born British starchitect, Dame Zaha Hadid who died in 2016.  It's perhaps her most spectacular. Finished by Patrik Schumacher, the leader of the firm that continues to bear her name, the magnificent airport has all the hallmarks of her award-winning approach: curving and folding hard materials so they yield to softness, light and lyrical drama.

PKX is currently operating with four runways and is projected to eventually have seven.

Take a look inside the airport in the photo gallery above.

See daxing-pkx-airport.com

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