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Dutch consulting firm wins prestigious Chinese contract

Beijing airport design competition

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BEIJING - A Dutch airport consulting firm has been awarded the contract to build a new airport complex in the Chinese capital of Beijing. A new international airport, BNIA has been designed to handle up to 130 million passengers annually and will have a total of eight runways. The Hague-based firm NACO won the design competition held between top airport consultants from around the world.

The proposed facility will replace the capitalís current airport, BCIA, which is expected to reach its design capacity within a few years, making the need for a new airport imminent. Its replacement is scheduled to open in 2017.

In its proposal, NACO paid special attention to sustainability for the new airport. It incorporated all modes of public transport (including high speed trains, metro and inter-airport trains) which will come together in a Ground Transportation Centre in front of the new terminals. The runways, the taxiways and terminals have been designed to keep taxi distances as short as possible, keeping fuel needs and CO2 emissions to a minimum. NACO expects the Beijing New International Airport to become a trendsetter for future mega airports.

The existing airport was also designed by NACO after winning the design competition in 2003 in a joint venture with international architects and engineers. NACO was involved in building more than 20 other airports around Beijing.

Last October, Egypt opened a new terminal built by NACO at Borg el Arab International Airport. The firm traces its roots to KLM-founder Albert Plesman who in 1949 foresaw the need for Dutch aviation project expertise abroad. KLM has already for some years been the oldest airline in the world.