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Weekly News Roundup

Beijing’s new airport is completed

Construction of Beijing’s new international airport has been completed, and flights will begin later this year, China’s Xinhuanet.com reports.

The new airport is known as Beijing Daxing International Airport though its official name has not yet been released.

Located about 28 miles from Beijing’s city center, the new airport will ease pressure on the now overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport. The two airports will be about 42 miles away from each other.

The new facility is designed to handle up to 72 million passengers each year by 2025. After expansions later, it will be able to accommodate 100 million passengers, according to Xinhua.

With four runways, it will accommodate 620,000 flights a year, the news agency reports.

The facility has a centerpiece building with five arms to resemble a phoenix spreading its wings but is designed so that travelers don’t have to walk long distances.

China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s top three airlines, said last week that it will build a $1.9 billion base at the new facility. The carrier said it will operate between 150 and 200 routes from the new airport to international destinations including the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, the agency reports.

California to require zero-emission vehicles at airports

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a rule that will require fixed route airport shuttles at the state’s 13 largest airports to transition to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

The new regulation will apply to public and private fleets, including those servicing parking facilities, rental car agencies and hotels.

The agency estimates that with almost 1,000 airport shuttles in operation, the regulation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 500,000 metric tons and save fleet owners about $30 million in reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

“California continues its forward march toward a zero-emission future with airport shuttles presenting a great opportunity for showcasing this process,” CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey said in a statement announcing the measure. “Shuttles are a vital part of airport activity. The transition to zero emission shuttles not only provides consumers with clean, quiet transport but will help further expand the reach of this ultra-clean technology into the heavy-duty transportation sector.”

Zero-emission shuttles are already operating throughout the state. Six airports as well as private businesses serving nine airports have purchased such shuttles. So far, 48 zero-emission shuttles are operating and another 100 have been ordered, many using incentive funding.

Starting in 2022, shuttle fleets will be required to report the details of their vehicles.

CARB said in its statement that the regulation will improve air quality in the state, including low-income communities close to major airports.

Major airports in New York City, New Jersey, Atlanta, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Raleigh, North Carolina are also deploying zero-emission shuttles.

FedEx Office teams up with RushMyPassport to offer expedited U.S. passport services

FedEx Office and RushMyPassport, a passport expediting service, will join forces to offer travelers the ability to renew and rush U.S. passports at 2,000 FedEx office locations nationwide.

The normal passport processing time for the U.S. State Department has recently increased from six weeks to up to eight weeks.

Travelers will also be able to complete their applications on FedEx.com/passport. Additional services that will be offered include overnight shipping of rushed applications, tracking visibility throughout the process and free 24/7 assistance from passport specialists.

“Many of us have experienced the distress of realizing our passport isn’t ready for an upcoming trip and, as a result, scramble to find a last-minute solution,” said Kim Dixon, chief operating officer of FedEx Office. “This convenient service will help eliminate the confusion and common errors that often arise and help simplify the process.”

Pricing will depend on six offerings: $449 for 24-hour service, $349 for next-day (two business days) service, $249 for priority service, $169 for rush service, $119 for standard service, and $99 for rush renewal.

Customers will also be able to purchase two government-compliant 2×2 passport photos for $14.95.


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