Terminal 2 Opens at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport

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By Joe Drury

Mar. 19 – Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport opened the doors of a new terminal on March 16, two months before 70 million mostly Chinese visitors will begin flocking to the city for the 2010 Expo.

The five-year US$2.2 billion Hongqiao Airport Expansion Project created a new 3,300 meter-long runway along with the terminal and will boost Hongqiao’s annual handling capacity by an estimated 40 million passengers and one million tons of cargo by 2015.

According to a 2010 Shanghai municipal government press statement, Hongqiao Airport’s Terminal 1 was straining under increasing passenger demands. “It had a designed capacity for 9.6 million passengers a year but handled more than 25 million last year,” the statement said.

Terminal 2 – four times larger than the older Terminal 1 – will serve 11 domestic carriers and handle three-quarters of Hongqiao’s passenger traffic. Terminal 1 will offer a mix of domestic and international options including flights to Japan and South Korea.

In addition to the 80 check-in counters and 45 boarding gates, the new terminal also offers luxury shopping and a full range of restaurants. Food prices in restaurants and convenience stores like Family Mart match those found outside the airport.

Although the terminals are not connected, free buses provide regular shuttle services with trip times of 15-20 minutes between the two buildings.

The new terminal is linked to the city through Metro Lines 2 and 10. From the People’s Square subway hub in central Shanghai, travelers can now reach the airport in 40 minutes.