Friday, February 29, 2008

Beijing International Airport Terminal 3

Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport opened today.

Beijing International Airport Terminal 3

The US$3.6 billion terminal was designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster, who was also responsible for the highly-praised Chep Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong.

Beijing Airport Terminal 3's main concourse is 3km long, divided into 3 sections and linked by shuttle train - Terminal 3 is the largest airport terminal building in the world. The new terminal is expected to boost incoming passengers to 76 million people in Olympic year 2008 up from 56 million last year.

Beijing International Airport Terminal 3, Beijing, China

The new terminal has 300 check-in counters, almost double the number of gates of the other two terminals and a state-of-the-art, computerized baggage handling system that can process 19,800 bags per hour. There is even a Burger King.

Eventually the Beijing International Airport will be linked by a new high-speed train in to central Beijing.

The design, as at Hong Kong's Chep Lap Kok, emphasizes natural light with huge glass walls and roof and is designed with energy efficiency in mind. The structure as a whole supposedly represents a flying dragon with triangular skylight windows -"scales" - protruding from the roof.

Dragon scales at Beijing International Airport Terminal 3

British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas Airways, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines will move in right away followed on March 26 by Air Canada, Air China, Dragonair, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

images © Daniel Allen

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