Shenzhen gets new air terminal
Updated: 2013-11-28 09:11
By Lin Jing in Shenzhen, Guangdong (China Daily)
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport opens its new terminal on Nov 28, 2013. [Xuan Hui/For China Daily]
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport opens its new terminal on Thursday morning, with flights focusing on destinations in Southeast Asia.
The massive white building - shaped like an airplane ready for take off - is three times the size of the airport's other terminals combined, and is capable of processing 45 million passengers a year. It has a gross area of 450,000 square meters - roughly the size of 63 soccer fields - and boasts 194 parking spaces for aircraft.
With the birth of the new facility, the three old terminals will be closed.
Flight operations are to begin at 6 am on Thursday, now driven by a new mindset.
"Shenzhen airport can only become a competitive international airport by focusing more on international routes to Southeast Asian countries and regions," said Zhang Huai, deputy general manager with Shenzhen Airport Group.
The first flight from the terminal will depart for Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, at 7:55 am on Thursday.
Li Lianxiang, a captain, said he is proud to see the changes that have taken place at the airport during his 31-year career.
Liu Xia, a purser for China Southern Airlines, said she expects the terminal to provide greater convenience and better service.
As of the end of July, Shenzhen airport had 149 domestic and international routes reaching 106 cities. Every week, 65 flights go to major destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Bangkok, Singapore.
Of the approximately 30 million passengers annually in 2011 and 2012, 5 percent were international, but that number is expected to rise sharply.
According to projections, by 2015 the airport will be serving 38 million passengers, with 3.3 million of those being international. It will handle 1.3 million tons of freight.
Travelers inside the terminal will have access to 25 electric-powered vehicles that can move them through the cavernous facility, as well as 10 baby strollers. There's even a chapel for religious observances.
The increased size of the new terminal means check-in time will change from 40 minutes in advance of flight time to 45 minutes.
A new ground transportation center at the terminal is expected to help shorten commutes. Travel time from downtown to the airport will be about 30 minutes.