Beijing’s New Air Terminal

Beijing’s new air terminal, Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport, reputedly the world’s largest airport building, will start trial operations this Friday, 29 Feb.

The new terminal will have 64 restaurants, 90 shops and a high-speed commuter train that will transport passengers to the city centre. And its runway is big enough to handle the huge Airbus A380 superjumbo. Its floor space, to match up to its reputation as the world’s largest airport building,  is nearly 100 hectares.

The building, designed by the famous British architect Lord Foster, is decked out in red columns and gold roof, the typical “Chinese elements”, an evocation of the imperial palaces in ancient China.

What interests me most is that the state media hailed its world-record pace of construction – finished in under four years. But not to forget that it also means a world-record pace of destruction – more than 10,000 villages have been demolished over a short period of time to pave way for the construction.

And the fast pace is intended – to open the new air terminal in time for the Olympics in August when a huge number of visitors are expected and the current airport capacity can hardly cope.

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