Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Chinese transportation officials opened a new airport in Beijing Wednesday they said can accommodate 100 million passengers each year.
Beijing Daxing International Airport opened to ease traffic at the city's older facility, Beijing Capital International Airport. The new airport, which features an exterior star shape, seven runways and two-story departure gates, cost $11 billion.
President Xi Jinping attended Wednesday's opening.
"Xi Jinping attaches particular importance to and has personally encouraged the development of Daxing International Airport, a major engineering project that is symbolic of the capital," Vice Premier Han Zheng said at the event.
"It will significantly improve the global competitiveness of national airlines, promote our country's continued opening up to the wider world, and ease pressure on Beijing's facilities."
The new facility is expected to become one of the world's busiest. The older airport is the world's second-busiest, after Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport in the United States.
China Eastern and China Southern airlines are planning to base their flights at the new airport, which is projected to serve 112 destinations by next year.