Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport (ICAO: ZBAA,IATA: PEK) is the main international airport of Beijing, China. It is the busiest civil airport in China. In 2006, Beijing Capital International Airport was ranked ninth position in the world. It had become the busiest airport in Asia in terms of passenger traffic and total traffic movements by 2009.
Beijing Capital International Airport is located 32 km northeast of Beijing’s city center an enclave of Chaoyang District that is surrounded by rural Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited, a state-controlled company. The airport's IATA Airport Code, PEK, is based on the city's former romanized name, Peking.
Beijing Capital International Airport is the main hub for Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, which flies to around 120 destinations (excluding cargo) from Beijing. Hainan and China Southern Airlines also use the airport as their hub.
The Condé Nast Traveler magazine named the Beijing Capital International as the World's Best Airport in 2009, based on its multi-criteria satisfaction survey, including factors such as cleanliness, speed of security/immigration clearance, clarity of signs, luggage handling, etc. It was the first time that Beijing Capital made to the top contenders list.
Basic Information
English Name: Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIP)
Chinese Name: 北京首都国际机场
Service From: 1958
Type: International Airport
Location: Beijing, China
Distance from Beijing City: 25 kilometers
Latitude: 35 meters
Capital Airport began to serve since Mar 2nd, 1958. It is the first civil airport in China. At the very beginning, only one small terminal building served travellers. And now, it is still standing there serving for VIPs and applying for the use of charter flights.
On the Jan 1st 1980, a new and large terminal with about 60,000 sq meters including parking apron and parking lots began to serve for the airport. This terminal is the No 1 terminal now.
During the mid-1990s, this terminal was smaller to meet the traffic condition. And another terminal was planned to be constructed with an area about 33,600 sq meters. This terminal was applied to use on Nov 1st 1999. After the new terminal began to use named as the No 2 terminal. And the No 1 terminal was then closed for renovation after the opening of Terminal 2.Till Sep 20th 2004, the re-constructed No 1 terminal started to serve again.
A third runway of BCIA opened on October 29, 2007, to relieve congestion on the other two runways.
Another expansion, Terminal 3 (T3) was completed in February 2008, in time for the Beijing Olympics. This colossal expansion includes a third runway and another terminal for Beijing airport, and a rail link to the city-center. At its opening, It was the largest man made structure in the world in terms of area covered, and a major landmark in Beijing representing the growing and developing Chinese city. The expansion was largely funded by a 30 billion yen loan from Japan and 500-million-euro (USD 625 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan is the largest ever granted by the EIB in Asia; the agreement was signed during the eighth China-EU Summit held in September 2005.
Fresh from hosting the 2008 Olympic Games and completion of its new terminal building, Beijing Capital has overtaken Tokyo Haneda to be the busiest airport in Asia based on scheduled seat capacity.
Till 2011, there are three terminals in Beijing Capital International Airport: Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.
Terminal 1
Started to serve on Jan 1st 1980, Terminal 1 is a building covered 60,000 sq meters. Terminal 1 was applied and replaced the original small terminal in 1950s. Till 1999, only Terminal 1 was existed and used in Capital Airport. When the Terminal 2 opened on Nov 1st 1999, Terminal 1 was closed and planned to be re-constructed. And Terminal 1 wan re-open on Sep 20th 2004.
Terminal 1 was the operational base for China Southern Airlines' domestic routes and a few other airlines such as Xiamen Airlines and Chongqing Airlines, and was originally planned to handle domestic traffic, excluding those to Hong Kong and Macau.
In 2008, Terminal 1 was closed again for renovation. From this time, airlines of China Southern Airline and Xiamen Airline were operated in Terminal 2. And since Jun 27 2008, Terminal 1 began to operate airline of Hainan Airline and gradually became the private terminal for HNA Group, including those of Hainan Airlines, Grand China Air, Deer Air and Tianjin Airlines, while the international flights and the ones between Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Beijing of the HNA Group remained in Terminal 2.
Terminal 2
Terminal 2 was open on Nov 1st 1999, It is many larger the Terminal 1. During the renovation period of Terminal 1, Terminal 2 played an important role to keep the airport serving smoothly. Domestic and international flights are all can be operated in Terminal 2. Prior to the opening of Terminal 3, all international flights (and the majority of the domestic flights) operated from this terminal. This terminal now houses China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Skyteam, and other domestic and international flights after Air China, Shanghai Airlines, Star Alliance members, Oneworld members moved operations to the new Terminal 3.
Terminal 3
Construction of Terminal 3 started on March 28, 2004, and was opened in two stages. Trial operations commenced on February 29, 2008, when seven airlines, namely British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines moved into the terminal. 20 other airlines moved into the terminal when it became fully operational on March 26, 2008. Currently, it mainly houses Air China, Oneworld, Star Alliance, and other domestic and international flights.
It was designed by a consortium of NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V), UK Architect Foster and Partners and ARUP. Lighting was designed by UK lighting architects Speirs and Major Associates. The budget of the expansion is US$3.5 billion. Far grander in size and scale than the existing terminals, it was the largest airport terminal-building complex built in a single phase with 986,000 square meters in total floor area at its opening. It features a main passenger terminal (Terminal 3C), two satellite concourses (Terminal 3D and Terminal 3E) and five floors above ground and two underground, with the letters "A and B" omitted to avoid confusions with the existing Terminals 1 and 2. Terminal 3C is dedicated for domestic flights, Terminal 3E for international flights, and Terminal 3D, called the "Olympics Hall", was used for charter flights during the Beijing Olympics, and will be used by international flights.
Terminal 3 is larger than London Heathrow Airport's 5 terminals combined with another 17% to spare.
Terminal 3 of the BCIA is currently the second largest airport passenger terminal building of the world. Its title as the world's largest was surrendered to Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 (over 1,500,000 m²) on October 14, 2008.
Accesses among Terminals
There is a passage linking the two terminals together; this is accessible at the public level (no passports needed). Travel between Terminals 1 and 2 is via a long corridor with travelators. A fit person can make the route in about 10 minutes.
A free shuttle bus runs between Terminal 2 and the new Terminal 3. It departs every ten minutes or so and the journey time is about 10 minutes. Terminal 3 is huge: it alone is bigger than all five of Heathrow (London)'s terminals. Additional time should be allocated when flying from here. Terminal 3 check-in closes 45 minutes before flights depart.