Beijing Capital International Airport (China)
Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA: PEK, ICAO: ZBAA) has of late become one of the busiest international airports in the world due to the large number of passengers it serves on a daily basis. It actually enjoys the tag of being the busiest airport in Asia. The airport is located some thirty two kilometers from Beijing City and is home to Air China, the Chinese national carrier. Both China Southern Airlines and Hainan have also made the airport their home. The airport in 2008 witnessed major development including construction of Terminal 3 in order to cope with ever increasing traffic and cargo volumes.
The airport has three terminals. The 650,000 sq. ft Terminal 1 is designated for domestic passengers excluding those flying to or from Macau and Hong Kong. Opened in 1999, the 3,620,000 sq. ft. Terminal 2 serves both domestic and international passengers. It is also at Terminal 2 where Air Koryo, China Eastern and China Southern Airlines have their base.
Terminals 1 and 2 are connected by a 15-minute walkway. There are also shuttle buses that connect all the three terminals. Terminal 3 is specifically for international departures and arrivals. The terminal that became operational in 2008 now houses Air China, Star Alliance and Oneworld among other airlines. Terminal 3 is of special mention. It is a 10,610,000 sq. ft-floor space terminal, which makes it the second largest airport terminal in the world after Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3. The terminal is divided into several sections; Terminal 3C, which is the main terminal and two concourses referred to as Terminals D and E. Letters A and B were intentionally not used to avoid any confusion with Terminals 1 and 2.
Beijing Capital International Airport’s main feature is the 323 ft monitoring tower located toward the south of Terminal 3. With a reddish roof, the tower is the highest building at the airport. Passengers using the airport have several options when it comes to dining. Terminal 3 in particular boasts of a food service area referred to as Global Kitchen from where over seventy stores offer different food stuffs. There is also a 174,000 sq. ft domestic retail area and a 136,000 sq. ft duty-free store area.