With the opening of T2 of Pudong Airport, today, another terminal, T3 of Beijing Capital International Airport also opens. I am also lucky to experience the new terminal today.
The first impression of T3 is, it is HUGE! Look at the Google Satellite image below: T1 (opened in 1959) and T2 (opened in 1999) look so tiny compared to the big T3. The Google image is not updated yet. On the image, it is not completed, and now, it is open, and 60% of flights have already transited to T3.
Today, it is the largest terminal in the world, larger than the combination of the current four terminal in London’s Heathrow airport (the world largest airport).
By building area, it is also almost the largest building ever on earth, bigger than Pentagon in Washington D.C. More notable, it is completed within 4 years, which is pretty astonishing. According to Matt, one of the designer, their firm got the job to design the terminal 6 months before the construction actually started. Considering the Beijing Railway Station (Asia’s largest) took one year to built, and the city’s tallest building, World Trade Center, took only 1 and half year to complete, the short schedule of the airport seems OK in China’s standard.
Outside the terminal
The terminal is not very tall (at least seen from the runway), and you can hardly see them from the plane. It does not look very big from outside, does it? However, you will quickly find out you are wrong. It IS tall and it IS huge when you take a closer look.
The first impression of the terminal for me is, it is a pine apple!
Another pine-apple picture:
Inside the terminal
To be honest with you, the dark orange color plus white is a little bit shocking for me. I didn’t expect Beijing to have an airport with this color. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of the airports in southeast countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia…
I am in the big curve of T3-C section.
The package picking area is also pretty amazing. The hall is high and with strong ceiling decoration.
The direction board, as always, is pretty clear in Beijing Airport.
This is the diagram of the terminal.
This is the most amazing part – the departure hall – the biggest inner space in the airport.
Look at the orange and reddish roof – what it reminds you? I thought about sky and galaxy when I first saw it.
This huge architect is a parking building. It has more than 6000 parking space there. I have several photos of it. I also have a special entry on it: this huge project is not only a parking space, it is also the Beijing Airport Express Train station.
I didn’t have time to explore the Beijing Airport T3 as much as I did for the Shanghai T2. I will do more research and take more picture when I get back tomorrow. Beijing’s T3 is huge, out of my imagination.
With the completion (after four year’s construction) and open, it is another solid milestone for Beijing Olympics in 2008.