Beijing Capital International Airport
(5 March 2014)
|Beijing Capital International Airport
Běijīng Shǒudū Guójì Jīchǎng
|IATA: PEK – ICAO: ZBAA
– WMO: 54511
|Operator||Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||116 ft / 35 m|
|Tonnes of cargo||1,843,681|
|Economic & social impact||$6.5 billion & 571.7 thousand|
|Statistics from Airports Council International, China's busiest airports by passenger traffic|
|Beijing Capital International Airport|
Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA: PEK, ICAO: ZBAA) is the main international airport serving Beijing. It is located 32 km (20 mi) northeast of Beijing's city center, in an enclave of Chaoyang District and the surroundings of that enclave in suburban Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited, a state-controlled company. The airport's IATA Airport code, PEK, is based on the city's former romanized name, Peking.[note 1]
Beijing Capital has rapidly ascended in rankings of the world's busiest airports in the past decade. It had become the busiest airport in Asia in terms of passenger traffic and total traffic movements by 2009. It was the world's second busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic from 2010-2013 and as of March 1, 2014 it was the second-busiest airport in the world in 2014. The airport registered 557,167 aircraft movements (take-offs and landings), which ranked 6th in the world in 2012. In terms of cargo traffic, Beijing airport has also witnessed rapid growth. By 2012, the airport had become the 13th busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic, registering 1,787,027 tonnes.
Beijing Capital International Airport is the main hub for Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, which flies to around 120 destinations (excluding cargo) from Beijing. Hainan and China Southern Airlines also use the airport as their hub.
To accommodate the growing traffic volume, Beijing Capital added the enormous Terminal 3 in 2008 in time for the Olympic Games, the second largest airport terminal in the world after Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3, and the sixth largest building in the world by area. Beijing Capital International Airport covers 1,480 hectares (3,700 acres) of land.
- 1 History
- 2 Terminals
- 3 Airlines and destinations
- 4 Ground transportation
- 5 Accolades
- 6 Statistics
- 7 Other facilities
- 8 Sister airports
- 9 Photo gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Beijing Airport was opened on 2 March 1958. The airport then consisted of one small terminal building, which still stands to this day, apparently for the use of VIPs and charter flights. On 1 January 1980, a newer, larger building – green in colour – opened, with docks for 10 to 12 aircraft. The terminal was larger than the one in the 1950s, but by the mid-1990s, it was too small. The terminal was then closed for renovation after the opening of Terminal 2.
In late 1999, to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the airport was expanded again. This new terminal opened on 1 November, and was named Terminal 2. 20 September 2004, saw the opening of a new Terminal 1 for a few airlines, including China Southern Airlines' domestic and international flights from Beijing. Other airlines' domestic and international flights still operate in Terminal 2.
A third runway of BCIA opened on 29 October 2007, to relieve congestion on the other two runways.
Another expansion, Terminal 3 (T3) was completed in February 2008, in time for the Beijing Olympics. This colossal expansion includes a third runway and another terminal for Beijing airport, and a rail link to the city-center. At its opening, It was the largest man made structure in the world in terms of area covered, and a major landmark in Beijing representing the growing and developing Chinese city. The expansion was largely funded by a 30 billion yen loan from Japan and 500-million-euro (USD 625 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan is the largest ever granted by the EIB in Asia; the agreement was signed during the eighth China-EU Summit held in September 2005.
Fresh from hosting the 2008 Olympic Games and completion of its new terminal building, Beijing Capital has overtaken Tokyo Haneda to be the busiest airport in Asia based on scheduled seat capacity.
Due to limited capacity at Beijing Capital International Airport, a new airport in Daxing is being planned which BCIA will be only served its domestic flights. The project was given final approval on 13 January 2013. Construction is expected to begin in 2014 and be completed in 2018. The airport will have six runways for civil use and one for military use. It is not yet clear how flights will be divided between the two airports but one plan is that all airlines of the SkyTeam airline alliance is to move to the new airport.
Terminal 1, with 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft) of space, opened on 1 January 1980, and replaced the smaller existing terminal which was in operation since 1958. Terminal 1 was closed for renovation from 1999 to 20 September 2004, during which all airlines operated from Terminal 2. Featuring 16 gates, it was the operational base for China Southern Airlines' domestic routes and a few other airlines such as Xiamen Airlines and Chongqing Airlines, and was originally planned to handle domestic traffic, excluding those to Hong Kong and Macau.
With the opening of Terminal 3, the terminal was closed for light refurbishment, and its airlines were moved to Terminal 2 on 20 May 2008. Terminal 1 reopened for a second time on 27 June 2008, and became the operational base for all domestic flights operated by the HNA Group, including those of Hainan Airlines, Grand China Air, Deer Air and Tianjin Airlines, while the international flights and the ones between Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Beijing of the HNA Group remaining in Terminal 2.
Terminal 2 opened on 1 November 1999, with a floor area of 336,000 m2 (3,620,000 sq ft). This terminal was used to replace Terminal 1 while the latter was undergoing renovation, cramping all airlines into this terminal despite it being far bigger than Terminal 1 and it can handle twenty aircraft at docks connecting directly to the terminal building. Prior to the opening of Terminal 3, all international flights (and the majority of the domestic flights) operated from this terminal. This terminal now houses China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Skyteam, Air Koryo, and other domestic and international flights after Air China, Shanghai Airlines, Star Alliance members, Oneworld members moved operations to the new Terminal 3. A gate capable of handling the A380 (gate 21) was also built at the terminal.
Terminals 1 and 2 are linked by a public walkway that takes about 10–15 minutes to traverse. Shuttle buses connect all three terminals.
Construction of Terminal 3 started on 28 March 2004, and the terminal opened in two stages. Trial operations commenced on 29 February 2008, when seven airlines, including British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines moved into the terminal. Twenty other airlines followed when the terminal became fully operational on 26 March 2008. Currently, it mainly houses Air China, Oneworld, Star Alliance, and other domestic and international flights. Star Alliance members LOT Polish Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways International, Singapore Airlines, and Air China use Terminal 3-E as part of the Move Under One Roof program to co-locate alliance members.
Terminal 3 was designed by a consortium of NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V), UK Architect Foster and Partners and ARUP. Lighting was designed by UK lighting architects Speirs and Major Associates. The budget of the expansion is US$3.5 billion. Far grander in size and scale than the preexisting terminals, Terminal 3 was the largest airport terminal-building complex in the world to be built in a single phase with 986,000 m2 (10,610,000 sq ft) in total floor area at its opening. It features a main passenger terminal (Terminal 3C), two satellite concourses (Terminal 3D and Terminal 3E) and five floors above ground and two underground, with the letters "A and B" omitted to avoid confusions with the existing Terminals 1 and 2. Only two concourses were initially opened, namely Terminal 3C dedicated for domestic flights as well as Terminal 3E for international flights. Terminal 3D officially opened on 18 April 2013. The newly opened concourse is temporarily used solely by Air China for some of its domestic flights.
Terminal 3 of the BCIA is currently the second largest airport passenger terminal building of the world. Its title as the world's largest was surrendered on 14 October 2008 to Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 which has 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) of floor space.
On 20 July 2013, a man in a wheelchair detonated small homemade explosives which exploded on Terminal 3 in the Beijing International Airport. The bomber, reported to be Ji Zhongxing, was injured and taken to a hospital for his injuries. No other people were hurt.
System, security and luggage
Terminal 3 has a 300,000 m2 (3,200,000 sq ft) transportation centre with 7,000 car-parking space. The transportation centre has designated traffic lanes for airport buses, taxis and private vehicles. Travelers bound for T3 can exit their vehicles and enter T3 via an aisle within five minutes. The transportation centre also has a light-rail station for the Airport Express Line of the Beijing Subway.
Terminal 3 has 243 elevators, escalators or moving walkways. Each row of seats in the waiting area has electrical outlets. Every restroom has a diaper changing station. There is also a room for travelers with disabilities.
One of Terminal 3's highlights is the US$240 million luggage-transfer system. The luggage system is equipped with yellow carts, each of which has a code, matching the bar code on every piece of luggage loaded on it, allowing easy and accurate tracking. More than 200 cameras are used to monitor activities in the luggage area.
The luggage system can handle 19,200 pieces of luggage per hour. After luggage is checked in at any one of the 292 counters at Terminal 3C, they can be transferred at a speed of ten metres per second. Even for international routes, luggage can travel from T3C to T3E in five minutes. Arriving passengers should be able to begin retrieving their luggage within 4.5 minutes after airplanes are unloaded.
Along with X-ray scanners, additional equipment conducts checks such as for explosives. Passengers will be able to check in their luggage at the airport several hours or even a day before their flight. The airport will store them in its luggage system and then load them on the correct aircraft.
A 98.3 m (323 ft) monitoring tower stands at the southern end of T3, the highest building at the airport. The roof of T3 is red, the Chinese color for good luck. The terminal's ceilings use white strips for decoration and to indicate directions. Under the white strips, the basic color of the ceiling is orange with light to dark tones indicating where a passenger is inside the building. It is light orange in the center and deepens as it extends to the sides in T3E and is the other way around in T3C.
The roof of T3 has dozens of triangular windows to let in daylight. Light angles can be adjusted to ensure adequate interior lighting. However, interior lighting in itself is sufficient for comfortable reading. Many traditional Chinese elements will be employed in the terminal's interior decoration, including a "Menhai," a big copper vat used to store water for fighting fires in the Forbidden City, and the carvings imitating the famous Nine-Dragon Wall.
An indoor garden is constructed in the T3E waiting area, in the style of imperial gardens such as the Summer Palace. In T3C, a tunnel landscape of an underground garden has been finished with plants on each side so that passengers can appreciate them inside the mini-train.
The T3 food-service area is called a "global kitchen," where 72 stores provide food ranging from formal dishes to fast food, from Chinese to western, from bakery goods to ice cream. Airport officials have promised that people who buy products at the airport will see the same prices as in Central Beijing.
In addition to food and beverage businesses, there is a 16,200 m2 (174,000 sq ft) domestic retail area, a 12,600 m2 (136,000 sq ft) duty-free-store area and a nearly 7,200 m2 (78,000 sq ft) convenience-service area, which includes banks, business centres, Internet services and more. At 45,200 m2 (487,000 sq ft), the commercial area is twice the size of Beijing's Lufthansa Shopping Centres.
It provides 72 aerobridges or jetways, further complemented with remote parking bays which bring the total of gates to 150 for the terminal alone. Terminal 3 also comes with an additional runway. It increases BCIA's total capacity by 72 million passengers per year to a total of approximately 90 million.
The terminal has gates and a nearby runway that can handle the Airbus A380, which were proven when Singapore Airlines briefly offered A380 flights to Beijing in August 2008 during the Summer Olympics. Emirates airline has started its scheduled daily operation to Dubai as of 1 August 2010. Lufthansa uses these facilities since October 2010 to handle up to five A380 connections per week. China Southern Airlines operates their A380 between Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Guangzhou and Beijing-Hong Kong. Several other airlines in the near future will operate the A380 out of this terminal, including Malaysia Airlines and British Airways.
Within Terminal 3
Terminal 3 consists of three sub-concourses, namely Terminal 3C, 3D, and 3E. Both domestic and international travelers check in at T3C. Gates for domestic flights are in T3C and T3D (solely for domestic Air China flights), while international flights are handled in T3E. The 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) trip from T3C and T3E is shortened to 2 minutes by an automated people mover.
Between Terminal 1, 2 and 3
The airport provides free inter-terminal shuttle bus between Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The buses set out every 10 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm, and every 30 minutes from 11pm till 6am. Terminals 1 and 2 are connected by a lengthy corridor.
Airlines and destinations
The airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 serves the domestic routes of Hainan Airlines and its subsidiaries (while its international routes Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau flights operate from Terminal 2). Terminal 2 serves China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, SkyTeam members and other domestic and international flights. Terminal 3, the newest terminal, serves Air China, Star Alliance and Oneworld members, and some other domestic and international flights which do not operate from Terminals 1 and 2.
^1 MIAT Mongolian flights make Beijing as an intermediate stop en route to and/or from Singapore; however it does not have the traffic rights to carry passengers solely between Beijing and Singapore.
Beijing Capital International Airport is served by the Airport Express Line of the Beijing Subway. The 28.1 km (17.5 mi) line runs from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 and then to the city with stops at Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen. The line opened on 19 July 2008, in time for the 2008 Olympics. A one-way trip takes approximately 16–20 minutes and costs ¥25.
The airport offers bus service to and from points throughout the city including Xidan, Beijing Railway Station, Beijing South Station, Beijing West Station, Zhongguancun, Fangzhuang and Shangdi on eleven airport bus routes. The airport buses run to each of the three terminals and cost Y16 per ride. The airport buses accept only paper tickets that are sold at each terminal and certain bus stops in the city. The airport also offers bus service to and from neighboring cities including Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Baoding, Langfang and Tangshan.
Taxi service from the airport to Beijing is available. Normal taxis (not limousines) are on the meter, and a normal reasonable price to downtown Beijing is around 150 CNY.
The airport is accessible by four express tollways. Two of these run directly from northeastern Beijing to the airport. The other two connect to the airport from nearby highways. .
- The Airport Expressway is a 20 km (12 mi) toll road that runs from the northeastern 3rd Ring Road at Sanyuanqiao directly to Terminals 1 and 2. It was built in the 1990s and has served as the primary road connection to the city.
- The 2nd Airport Expressway, opened in 2008, is a 15.6 km (9.7 mi) toll road that runs east from Yaojiayuan Lu at the eastern 5th Ring Road and then north to Terminal 3.
- The Northern Airport Line, opened in 2006, is an 11.3 km (7.0 mi) toll road that runs east from the Jingcheng Expressway to Terminals 1 and 2.
- The Southern Airport Line, opened in 2008, is a toll road that runs parallel and to the south of the Northern Airport Line from the Jingcheng Expressway to the eastern Sixth Ring Road at the Litian Bridge. This highway crosses the Airport Expressway and 2nd Airport Expressway, and enables drivers on the former to reach Terminal 3 and the latter to head to Terminals 1 and 2.
In addition to the expressways, there is a tree-lined, two-lane road that runs just south of the Airport Expressway. This Old Airport Road was the primary access route to the airport prior to the expressway's opening and remains the only untolled road to the airport.
The airport's parking garage offers 24-hour parking service.
|List of airports by passenger traffic||1||2014|
|List of airports by traffic movements||5||2014|
|List of airports by cargo traffic||12||2014|
- 2009 – 1st on the ranking of the World's Best Airport by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, based on its satisfaction survey.
- 2011 – 3rd Best Airport Worldwide of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International.
|Passengers||Change from previous year||Movements||Cargo
- O'Hare International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
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- Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Sydney Airport
|Around the airport|
- Beijing Daxing International Airport
- Beijing Nanyuan Airport
- List of airports in China
- List of the busiest airports in China
- The code BJS is for all commercial airports in Beijing metro area. Currently, it includes this airport and Beijing Nanyuan Airport, a small domestic airport.
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