Air Transport World

Shanghai Pudong airport opens.

New facility will boost the region's fast-growing economy

The opening of the new Shanghai Pudong International Airport on Sept. 16 is a major step toward the city's long-term goal of becoming an aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific region. When it is fully operational in 2000, Pudong will ease the overcrowding at Hongqiao International and eventually replace it as Shanghai's primary airport.

The new airport arrives none too soon for the vibrant New Pudong Area and Yangtze Delta region. During the 1990-97 period, passenger traffic at Hongqiao grew at an annual rate of 23%. It handled 12 million passengers in 1996, well beyond its recently expanded capacity of 9.6 million, and it is estimated that more than 20 million passengers will arrive and depart from the two airports next year.

Built at a cost of 13.3 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), Pudong's Phase 1 opened with one 4,000-m runway and a terminal building of 280,000 sq. m, more than three times as large as the terminal at Hongqiao. It has 36 boarding bridges, 50 aircraft positions and 13 luggage carousels and is capable of meeting the yearly demands of 126,000 flights, 20 million passengers and 750,000 tons of cargo. …

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