KUNMING- After Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, a new massive airport is born in China. The US$3.6 billion new Kunming Changshui International Airport just opened its doors at the end of June.
It is the only extra-large gateway hub-airport approved by the State Council of the PRC, during the 11th Five-year Plan Period (2006-2010).The airport was designed by the famous international architect team Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).
With 66 aerobridges and a larger aircraft apron, the new airport has a total capacity of 38 million passengers in its first phase, to be compared with a total output of 22.27 million passengers recorded last year. Plans foresee to expand the total capacity to 65 million passengers per year. The airport has two parallel runways located at 2,100m above sea level and an initial handling capacity of 303,000 flights. It would grow ultimately to 456,000 air movements.
The new hub will enable airlines to use the biggest aircraft such as the Airbus A380. Oriented to South and Southeast Asia, and linking Europe, Asia and Africa, it will be an international air transportation hub in Southwest China. The airport is located 24.5km from the city centre and is connected by a highway and rail service from downtown Kunming.