Shanghai Pudong Airport’s New ‘Sea Gull’ Terminal Takes Flight

Just a month after the opening of Beijing’s huge new terminal which will accomodate the traffic expected during the Olympics, Shanghai’s Pudong Airport this week also unveiled a brand new section, reports the Channel NewsAsia.

Shanghai Pudong airport’s new giant terminal opened on Wednesday, amid hopes that its 60-million-passenger handling capacity would help reduce its notorious delays and much-feared queues.

The wave-shaped building, resembling the wings of a sea gull, has 546,000 square metres (5.9 million square feet) in three layers, doubling both size and handling capacity of the old airport.The airport had been bursting at the seams, handling 28.95 million travellers last year, nearly 50 percent more than the 20 million the old terminal built nine years ago was originally designed for.

Given China’s fast growing aviation industry, the country hopes to expand other airport facilities across the country.

Civil aviation traffic across China grew 16 percent last year to 185 million passenger trips, and is expected to increase to 210 million in 2008.

In an effort to meet demand, nearly 100 new airports are planned to be built across China by 2020 at a cost of more than 60 billion dollars, including the world’s highest in Tibet.

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