By Don Douloff, March 27, 2008
Beijing’s just-opened, 10.6-million-sq.-ft. terminal will enable the city’s airport to handle 76-million passengers a year compared to 53-million travelers in 2007.
Constructed in preparation for the huge spike in passengers expected during this August’s Olympics, the dragon-shaped building more than doubles the total area of the existing two terminals.
Featuring tableaux borrowing from classical Beijing imperial architecture, the terminal will, initially, be serviced by six airlines: Sichuan Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Qantas Airways, British Airways and El Al Israel Airlines. Beginning March 29, an additional 21 airlines will begin flying into the terminal.
Three highways are being built to connect the new terminal to the existing road system and are slated to open before the Olympics.