A row of China Eastern Airline jets. Photo: AFP

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approved plans Thursday for China Eastern Airlines to build a US$2 billion base for a new airport servicing Beijing. The airport reportedly will be vying for the title of world’s largest, once completed.

The NDRC said that 30% of the investment will be covered by China Eastern, while the rest will be covered by domestic bank loans.

China hopes to complete the first phase of construction for the airport by 2019, with a service capacity of 45 million passengers, roughly in line with Atlanta International Airport, which holds the title of world’s busiest.