Farewell, Beijing Nanyuan Airport

This morning, Beijing Daxing International Airport officially opened after four years of construction.


Beijing Nanyuan Airport. (Photo: VCG) 

And with this exciting news, it's now time to say goodbye to the country's oldest airport — Beijing Nanyuan Airport.

Dating back to 1907, the Qing government built a simple runway for airplanes to take off and land at the Yijun playground in Nanyuan Town, ten kilometers south of Yongding Gate. This marked the first airport in China's modern history.

Nanyuan airport officially opened in 1910 and was initially used for military purposes. In August 1913, the first flight school in China was opened there, followed by the opening of China's first aviation plant.

In August 1949, the first flying brigade of the People's Liberation Army Air Force was formed here, and they participated in the People's Republic of China Founding Ceremony's flying missions.

Since then, Nanyuan Airport has been supporting the training of air and ground forces for air force events during National Day celebrations.

And in 1986, China United Airlines was officially established. 31 branches opened across the country, forming a north-south, east-west air transport network with Beijing's Nanyuan Airport at its center.

In 2010, China United Airlines formally joined China Eastern Airlines. Four years later, it announced the transition to an economic airline, becoming the first state-owned budget airline.

For years, China United Airlines was the only airline company operating at Nanyuan. And after today, its operations will be moved to the newly-built Beijing Daxing International Airport.


Beijing Daxing International Airport. (Photo: VCG)

Located in southern Beijing's Daxing District, the new airport is expected to become north China's air travel hub. With a phoenix-shaped layout, the new airport will have the capacity to handle 45 million passengers annually by 2021, and 72 million by 2025. Let's take a fresh look at Beijing Daxing International Airport.

Over the past 100 years, Nanyuan Airport made many important milestones in China's aviation history. 

And a new chapter opens up today. With futuristic technologies and more convenient services, the new airport will play an important role in improving the international competitiveness of China's aviation industry.