Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Shanghai Pudong airport's Terminal 2 and Terminal 3

When I was coming back home from the airport on the night of the 4th, in sub-zero temperatures, at around midnight, I had a fairly long conversation with the taxi driver. While we were driving out of the airport he commented to me that the second terminal is finished and due to open in March 2008.

I'm surprised that a airport that is fairly new (opened in 1999) has had need for another terminal already, but given the upcoming Olympics and the economy of the country and growing affluence of its people, I guess it's no surprise.

Now, while I was searching for information on this I discovered that Shanghai is planning on building a third terminal already!


Shanghai Pudong International Airport will build a third passenger terminal and two more runways by 2015 to meet rising air travel demand, Wu Nianzu, chairman of Shanghai Airport Authority, said yesterday.

The expansion will further boost the capacity of the city's bigger airport to 80 million passengers a year and six million tons of freight in 2015.

"Pudong Airport became the world's sixth busiest airport in terms of capacity last year. With the forthcoming Olympics and the World Expo, the airport will play a more important role," said Wu. "To expand the airport is not a local strategy, but a strategy to serve the development of the Yangtze River Delta region and the whole nation."


When I first went to Pudong airport in 2005 I had high expectations. I knew it was a newish airport and a fairly large one but when I got there I was extremely disappointed. The reason is because I have used Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport as a benchmark and it doesn't compare. The reason it doesn't compare is because there was absolutely nothing to do there! The shops are lacking and the food places.. er... I don't even recall any. There isn't even enough seating in the waiting area. Not only is it boring it is freezing as they don't heat it enough (in winter).

Fortunately, I have read (in That's Shanghai magazine) that they are using Select Service Provider (SSP) (a UK company providing food and beverage to airports) in Terminal 2 so we can expect to see 22 new restaurants, cafes, and bars which sounds kinda exciting and promising. The company has a contract with Pudong airport for 10 years so it should be good.

On another note I absolutely love Hong Kong's airport. People rave about Singapore's Changi airport which is also nice but I feel it just doesn't compare. Other airports I really liked are Kuala Lumpur's and Dubai's. Nobody likes waiting but when there is lots to see and do at the airport I make more of an effort to get there early. I love the open layout of HK's airport and the modern design. I love that there are so many choices for food and shopping. Even though I don't really plan on buying much at the airport I just love browsing through random stuff. As well as that, they have little mini exhibitions throughout the terminal too and free wireless internet and internet stands. What more could you want?


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