The Tianjin Binhai International Airport put its terminal 2 into operation on Thursday, expanding passenger and cargo capacity.
Terminal 2 has a total floor area of 248,000 square meters, about twice as big as terminal 1, said Yan Xin, vice president of the Capital Airports Holding Company and president of Tianjin airport.
The new terminal has 72 check-in counters and 30 boarding bridges.
With the new terminal, the airport in the northern municipality of Tianjin, about 150 kilometers southeast of Beijing, can handle 50 million passengers and 1 million tonnes of cargo a year.
Last year, the Tianjin airport handled 10 million passengers and it expected to handle 12 million passengers this year. They are preparing for an estimated 30 million passengers by 2019.
Yan said the airport will take advantage of the gap between now and Beijing's second airport opening scheduled for 2018 to attract passenger flows from the national capital.
In 2013, the Beijing Capital International Airport handled 83.7 million passengers, retaining the world's second-largest passenger throughput for a third straight year.
Currently, passengers in Beijing can take the highspeed train and subway to reach the Tianjin airport in approximately an hour.
"The new terminal looks very modern, very well-organized and not so crowded. I hope it will develop more in the future," Eric Reuter, a German passenger, said upon arrival.
He said if Tianjin offers more international flights, he'd prefer Tianjin over Beijing or Shanghai due to the relatively low passenger numbers.