Beijing tests simultaneous landings on three parallel runways at new airport

The Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) successfully tested the simultaneous use of three runways on Tuesday 25 September, in the first operation of its kind in Asian aviation history.

The arrival and departure capacity would increase from 80 flights an hour to 115 flights per hour when the airport's new third terminal goes into operation in February next year. The third runway, to be used at the end of October, would provide support for air transport during the Beijing Olympic Games.

Simultaneous use of three runways is a challenging operation and only a few airports in the United States and Europe can manage it, said Duan Shili, an official with China's General Administration of Civil Aviation.

The airport presently has two runways and two terminals, with a combined capacity to handle 35 million passengers a year. Official forecasts show the peak monthly passenger arrival at the airport will hit 5.56 million during the Olympics, which is equivalent to the normal transport volume predicted for 2015.