Shanghai’s new terminal opens in Pudong, but where are the passengers?
SHANGHAI, April 10 – The second terminal at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport opened on March 26, more than doubling capacity for the airport to 60 million passengers and year.
Built at a cost of RMB20 billion, the new terminal and third runway, designed to handle the world’s largest aircraft, opens just in time to handle the expected surge of passenger volume from the upcoming Olympic Games and 2010 World Expo.
Current passenger traffic however, remains distinctly low. Arriving at the new terminal, one finds nothing more than vast emptiness. Even with passengers pouring out of two 747s, the anticipated chaos is nowhere to be found, with staff efficiently clearing immigration queues in the shortest amount of time.
Although Terminal 2 is not an exact twin of Terminal 1, it is indeed a sibling. The design has been structured on open air, space and light with construction incorporating 138 large windows on the ceiling. Taken together, the shape of the two terminals is meant to resemble a flying seagull’s wings. All of these design components are ingredients for a recipe to induce calm and warmth to the traveler passing within; however whether this notion remains is yet to be seen.
The new terminal already has an array of eateries such as Shanghai Ren Jia and Ajisen Ramen. In keeping with catering for its demographic there is also a westernized food section featuring a Burger King and an American-style sports bar. Shopping outlets currently include Guess, Celine and Ferragamo.
Only time will tell how efficient and effective the new terminal is. Terminal 1 went through some well publicized growing pains and the relief the new terminal should bring will hopefully allow airport management to increase customer services throughout the entire airport.
The airport is scheduled to start construction on Terminal 3 in 2015.
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