Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
Chéngdū Shuāngliú Guójì Jīchǎng
Check-in Counters in Terminal 2, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport.
|IATA: CTU – ICAO: ZUUU|
|Operator||Sichuan Province Airport Group Co.,Ltd|
|Hub for||Air China
|Elevation AMSL||495 m / 1,624 ft|
|Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport|
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (IATA: CTU, ICAO: ZUUU) is the major international airport serving Chengdu, People's Republic of China. Located about 16 kilometres (10 mi) southwest of downtown Chengdu to the north of Shuangliu County, Shuangliu airport is the busiest airport in western and central part of China and serves as an important aviation gateway to Western China. Shuangliu International Airport is one of the three major hubs for Air China, together with Beijing and Shanghai, as well as hub for Sichuan Airlines and Chengdu Airlines.
The airport is among world's top 50 busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic in 2012. In 2011 Shuangliu Airport handled 29,073,719 passengers to rank the 5th busiest in mainland China and the busiest airport in Western China. It was also the 5th busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic and the 6th busiest by traffic movements in China for 2011.
On May 12, 2008 the airport was temporarily shut down after sustaining some minor damages from the great Sichuan Earthquake but was quickly reopened the following day after inspection of the runway. The continued operation of the airport played a crucial role in facilitating the rescue work after the earthquake.
The airport, formerly named Shuangguisi Airport, opened in capacity as an auxiliary military airfield in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War/World War II. At the time, it possessed only earth surface for small biplanes to take off and touch down, where the Republic of China Air Force Polikarpov I-15 fighters of the 5th Pursuit Group were based for aerial defense of the Chengdu area against Imperial Japanese bomber raids; this following the Chinese retreat from Wuhan to Chongqing as the new provisional capital in aftermath of the Battle of Wuhan against the Imperial Japanese onslaught. Civilian targets were indiscriminately bombed, and ace fighter pilot of the Chinese Air Force Major Wong Sun-shui and Lieutenant Lin Heng (younger brother of renown architect and poet Lin Huiyin) flying in their I-15 fighter planes were both killed near Shuangliu air base as a result of battling against the world's best fighter aircraft of the time, the A6M "Zero" (Reisen) fighter, in defense of Chengdu on 14 March 1941.
During World War II, the airport was known as Shwangliu (Shuangliu) Airfield and was later used by the United States Army Air Forces Fourteenth Air Force as part of the China Defensive Campaign (1942–1945). It was used as a fighter base by the 33d Fighter Group, which flew P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers from the airport in 1944 to support Chinese ground forces, and also by reconnaissance units that operated camera-equipped P-38 Lightnings that located Japanese forces and provided intelligence to the fighter-bombers. The Americans closed their facilities at Shwangliu Airfield at the end of August 1945.
On December 12, 1956, the Shuangguisi Airport was put under civil aviation, which was then formally listed as a civil aviation airport and renamed Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. In 1957, the flights of Chengdu civil aviation were shifted to Shuangliu Airport from Guanghan Airport. The flight courses from Chengdu were thus opened to various cities within China including Beijing, Taiyuan, Xi'an, Chongqing, Kunming, Guiyang, Nanchong, etc. The airport went through several earlier expansions in 1959, 1967, 1983 and 1991 respectively.
A large-scale expansion was conducted on flight area and navigation area from 1994 to 2001. The runway was extended to 3,600 metres (11,811 ft) with Class 4E rating, allowing for larger jumbo jets including Boeing 747-400. The newly built terminal building was incorporated with three-parallel-porch design, accommodating an hourly capacity of 3,500 passengers at rush hours, while the previous terminal building was only designated for regional flights within Sichuan and Chongqing henceforth.
The airport is now an international civil airport with flights to more than 50 international destinations and over 170 domestic airports, and is a hub for Chengdu Airlines, Air China and Sichuan Airlines. It is linked to downtown Chengdu by Airport Expressway and Chengdu - Mianyang/E'meishan High-speed Railway.
The construction of its second runway started from late 2008 and has started service in December 2009. The completed new runway, with 3,600 metres length and 60 metres (197 ft) width, upgraded the previous flight area rating from 4E to 4F, capable of handling the Airbus A380. The new Terminal 2 has started construction in June 2009 and trial operations began on July 28, 2012 with limited airlines and was officially opened on August 9, 2012 for all domestic airlines other than Sichuan Airlines. T1 is split into Domestic and International wings, and retained all international flights from airlines within and outside China. The new terminal is twice the size of the current T1, and allows the airport to handle up to 50 million passengers annually.
Beginning on June 9, 2014, United Airlines began operating a thrice-weekly flight from San Francisco to Chengdu, operated with a Boeing 787-8 (the flights will be increased to daily in 2015). It was the airport's first nonstop flight to the United States. Prior to United's introduction of this route, passengers traveling from Chengdu to the United States had to connect in Beijing-Capital and/or Shanghai-Pudong, and it would take two or more stops to travel to many U.S. cities.
Airlines and destinations
|Air China Cargo||Shanghai-Pudong|
|AirBridgeCargo Airlines||Novosibirsk, Zhengzhou|
|Cathay Pacific Cargo||Hong Kong, Shanghai-Pudong|
|China Postal Airlines||Nanjing|
|FedEx Express||Anchorage, Delhi, Guangzhou|
|Korean Air Cargo||Seoul-Incheon|
|Shenzhen Donghai Airlines||Hong Kong, Shenzhen|
|UPS Airlines||Almaty, Cologne/Bonn, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Warsaw|
|Yangtze River Express||Châlons Vatry, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Prague, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen|
- Chengdu Shuangliu Int'l airport re-opens
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4
- USAFHRA document search - Shwangliu
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- Sichuan Online (Chinese)
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- "ABC schedule in July". AirBridge Cargo. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "UPS Launches Express Flights to Fast-Growing Chengdu". UPS. 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
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- "Apple's massive 'iPad 3' air freight deal with DHL shaking up shipping rates". Apple Insider. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 1–7 April 1998. 57. "Shuangliu Airport, Chengdu, 610202, Sichuan, China"
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