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China’s Pride and World’s Busiest Airport: The Beijing Capital International Airport

The Capital of China is located in the northern section of the country and with its 22 million of population is one of the most inhabited cities on a world level and comes second in China, after Shangai with its 24 million of population. The city has three millennia worth of history and culture and was the capital of China for the past eight centuries, thus making it one of the cities with longest capital status worldly. Its International airport is the main airport serving the needs of both domestic and foreign passengers, while several smaller airports offer as a leverage against over-crowding.

During the last decade, the passenger frequency is rapidly growing and numbering this airport among the world’s busiest airports. In 2009, it was the busiest airport in Asia, while in 2014 it got the rank of the world’s busiest airport. This airport is constantly growing and expanding due to passenger demand and more and more new lines connecting Beijing to distant locations around the globe are added. Stay with us to learn more on the world’s busiest airport, its history and the immaculate services it offers for its passengers.

01-Beijing_airport via flickr by neville mars licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

1.Location: this airport is located around 20 miles in northeast direction from the city, in Chaoyang District. This airport is owned by the state company under the name Beijing Capital International Airport Company Ltd. This is the main company for the flag carrier Air China, which offers flights for more than 120 loactions. Two other companies use this airport as their hub: Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The airport usually have around 84 million passenger circulation on yearly level and transportation of around two million tons worth of cargo. Three terminals are currently active, as well as three runways with the cumulative length of 35 thousand feet. The annual profit that the airport makes per year is estimated to c. seven billion dollars.

2.History: the airport still use the original runway with two later on additions, the terminals are the ones which get the constant upgrade. The airport started with operation ate the beginning of March 1958. At the very start, only one small building served as the sole terminal of the airport; it is still operational today, used for passenger check-in on VIP and charter flights. In 1980, another building was added, larger in size and more modern in concept. Yet, in only a decade even this upgrade will prove itself needed for expansion-Terminal 2 was added in 1990, and the first one was closed for yet another renovation.

In 2008, in the light of the Olympic Games, which were hosted by Chinal, Terminal 3 was opened. It is a mammoth of a building, ranging as 6 biggest building in the world and second largest airport terminal, coming short only to the Third Terminal of Dubai’s International Airport. Another runway was added, as well as rail connection to city’s center. It was a daring enterprise, China went in serious debt to procure funds for building of this airport. This is the same year when this airport got the status of world’s busiest airport, previously held by the Haneda Airport of Tokyo, so the risk and the profit was well paid off.

As by 2014, the airport is running at its full capacity, which is dwarfed by the needs of the international passenger transport. A new international airport is planned for building, at Daxing, and it is supposed to be finished by 2018. From that point onwards, this airports is to be used for domestic passenger transport only. The division of flights between the two major airports is still a matter of discussion, but it is expected that the new airport will take some of the frequency and thus, enable the older airport to run at full resources without being overcrowded.

3.Accessibility: the Beijing subway has a special line connecting the airport and the center, running 18 miles long and has stations on Terminal 2 and 3. The trip one-way lass max. 20 minutes. The bus lines connect the airport with several major traffic junctures around the city and has stations on all of the three terminals. Taxi service is provided in sedan vehicles and each of the terminals has its own taxi stand.

If you prefer using rent-a-car service, bear in mind that there are 4 different express ways for leaving the airport: two will take to northeastern Beijing directly and two will offer connection to the motorways in their vicinity: the Airport Expressway and the 2nd Airport Expressway are the direct ones, the Northern Airport line will connect you to Jingcheng Motorway and the Southern Airport line will connect you with the Sixth Ring Road. The Old Airport Road is still available and it will take you south from the Airport Expressway. Bear in mind that all of these, except for the last one are tolled and it can add to extra expenses.

4.Facilities: the airport comes equipped with excellent waiting rooms, the most luxurious lounges, and duty free shops which will satisfy the tastes even to the choosiest of shoppers. As for food, you can choose from authentic Chinese food to every international cuisine possible. The Chinese people are known for their highest aesthetic senses, so the whole airport is a large art gallery displaying the culture and history of China.

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