Beijing’s mega-airport completed another important step toward its official Sept. 30 opening, as China Eastern Airlines completed the nation’s first extreme low visibility take-off and landing tests at the facility.
An Airbus A320 with the Shanghai-based carrier took off from runway 01 L at Beijing Daxing International on Monday evening. The pilot simulated conditions of a runway visual range (RVR) of 75 meters and took off with the help of a head-up display screen, SHINE reported.
Pilot Shang Feng, an experienced captain who has flown for over 41,500 hours, later conducted a Category-IIIB landing, known as a “blind landing,” when visibility is lower than 175 meters and landing height lower than 15 meters.
Previously, domestic airports had only conducted takeoff certification at a runway visual range was 90 meters and Category-IIIA landing when visibility was over 175 meters.
The success of the tests enables pilots to take off or land at Daxing in haze, fog or other low visibility conditions, China Eastern said.
As one of the carriers based at the airport, China Eastern has taken part in four major maneuvers with other domestic carriers to ensure smooth operation after it opens in September, the airline said.
Meanwhile, China’s domestically developed regional jet ARJ21 made its first test flight at the airport on Monday, the report said.
The No. B-603N ARJ21 with Chengdu Airlines, its first and biggest operator, landed at the airport at 9pm on Monday and conducted tests on the A-SMGCS (Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System), ice removal and bridge approach.
Daxing airport, expected to open on September 30, aims to meet a soaring demand for air travel and relieve the air-service demand and relieve pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport.
The new airport, near the junction of Beijing’s Daxing District and Langfang in north Hebei Province, is expected to handle 45 million passengers a year by 2021 and 72 million by 2025, making it one of the busiest in the world on par with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US.
Covering a land area of 47 square kilometers, the new airport will be double the size of the capital airport, currently China’s largest, the report said.
Four runways will be ready when the airport opens, with a total of seven planned.
China Eastern and China Southern airlines will relocate 10% of their flights to Daxing. China United Airlines, Capital Airlines, Hebei Airlines and Xiamen Airlines will also be among the first carriers to relocate to the new facility.
China Eastern will keep operating most of its Beijing-Shanghai express flights at the capital airport, but relocate some flights to Daxing in winter, the carrier said.