Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
Chéngdū Shuāngliú Guójì Jīchǎng
|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, the capital of China's Sichuan Province. Located about 16 kilometres (10 mi) southwest of downtown Chengdu to the north of Shuangliu District, Shuangliu airport is an important aviation hub to Western China. Shuangliu Airport is one of the two core hubs for Air China, together with Beijing, as well as the main hub and headquarters for Sichuan Airlines and Chengdu Airlines. China Eastern Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Lucky Air and Tibet Airlines also have bases at Shuangliu Airport.
Shuangliu Airport handled 42.2 million passengers in 2015. It was among world's top 30 busiest airport in 2015, the 4th busiest in mainland China, and the busiest in western and central China. It was also the 5th busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic in China for 2013. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport becomes the 4th busiest airport in China and the 5th busiest one in Greater China by 2015.
The airport, formerly named Shuangguisi Airport, opened as an auxiliary military airfield in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War/World War II. At the time, its runway was only large enough for small biplanes. It was also where the Republic of China Air Force Polikarpov I-15 fighters of the 5th Pursuit Group were based for aerial defense of the Chengtu area against Imperial Japanese bomber raids; this following the Chinese retreat from Wuhan to Chungking 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 renowned 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 the Boeing 747-400. The newly built terminal building was incorporated with a three-parallel-porch design, accommodating an hourly capacity of 3,500 passengers during rush hours, while the previous terminal building was only designated for regional flights within Sichuan and Chongqing.
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 the Airport Expressway and the Chengdu - Mianyang/E'meishan High-speed Railway.
The construction of its second runway started from late 2008, and service commenced in December 2009. The completed new runway, 3,600 metres (11,811 ft) in 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; 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.
Prior to 2014, the airport had no nonstop flights to the United States. Passengers traveling from Chengdu to the United States had to connect at Beijing-Capital and/or Shanghai-Pudong, and it would take two or more stops to travel to many U.S. cities. This shortcoming in service at Chengdu was resolved beginning on June 9, 2014, as United Airlines began operating a nonstop service from San Francisco to Chengdu, operated with a Boeing 787-8.
Airlines and destinations
1: Despite being an international destination, China Eastern's flight from Chengdu to Los Angeles make a stop at Nanjing. Therefore, this flight departs from Terminal 2. Passengers go through customs/immigration inspection in Nanjing.
Airport Bus No.1, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport - City Centre (Minshan Hotel, Section 2 of Renmin Road South, Metro station of Jinjiang Hotel), Single ticket:￥10.
Airport Bus No.2, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport - Chengdu Railway Station (North Railway Station), Single ticket: up to￥10.
Airport Bus No.3, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport - Chengdu East Railway Station (Chengdu Dong Railway Station), Single ticket:￥12.
Airport Bus No.4, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport - Century City (Chengdu Int'l Exhibition Centre), Single ticket:￥10.
It costs about RMB 60 Yuan from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to city centre of Chengdu.
High-speed Train (CRH)
Passengers can take CRH train at Shuangliu Airport Railway Station (-1F of Terminal 2) to Chengdu South(Nan) Railway Station and Chengdu East(Dong) Railway Station, single tickets are about ￥11. In addition, the CRH trains at Shuangliu Airport Station are also bound for Mianyang Rail Station, Deyang Railway Station, Meishan East(Dong) Railway Station, Leshan Railway Station and Emeishan Railway Station.
Chengdu Metro Line 10 is under construction. This line will link Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport with Taipingyuan Station (the transfer station for Chengdu Metro Line 3, Line 7 and Line 10).
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Media related to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at Wikimedia Commons