China Southern Airlines, the The People’s Republic of China airline, offers a special comprehensive overview of the construction of the new Baiyun International Airport….
China Southern Airlines, the The People’s Republic of China airline, offers a special comprehensive overview of the construction of the new Baiyun International Airport.
During an in-depth interview, Mr. Derong Liu, Project Director of the new Baiyun International Airport for the Aviation Division of Parsons, offered this insider’s view of “what will become one of the largest airport complexes in Southeast Asia.”
According to Mr. Liu, construction is within budget and on time with the main 300,000 square meter terminal complex; West and East runways, taxiways and passenger jetways all completed.
“To meet our schedule, all equipment – such as the newly arrived ticket counters from the Netherlands – and interior design will be done by late October 2003,” said Mr. Liu.
He explained that after the installation of all needed airport equipment, there will be an “extensive six month testing period to make sure everything works, including baggage systems, electrical lighting, fire protection, security, moving sidewalks, elevators and escalators.”
Mr. Liu added that by April 2004, the airport will be turned over to the Guangdong Provincial Government which “will conduct another several months of testing and review” with the scheduled Grand Opening slated for June 2004.
The new Baiyun International Airport is “budgeted from the Central Government at approximately $500 Million (US) – about 1/3 of what it would cost if you build the same airport complex in America. One of the main reasons for the savings is our sound design of this airport. The New Baiyun International Airport will be the most cost efficient airport in the world,” said Mr. Liu.
One specific example offered was the flooring selected for the main passenger terminal. “There really is no need to spend $40 per square meter for imported Italian granite when local Chinese granite looks and feels exactly the same – at a considerably lower cost. No one will know – or care – if the granite they are walking on comes from Harbin or Rome,” said Mr. Liu.
Mr. Liu explained that the new airport will be an “F” category and will be fully capable of handling any modern jet aircraft – including the planned Airbus 380 super jumbo aircraft. “Our east runway was constructed with the super jumbo in mind and the thickness of the concrete can easily handle weight of the A380.”
He added that the new 500-room hotel – which is on the north side of the main terminal – is currently under construction and includes a convention and exhibition center with ballrooms and restaurants.
When the airport opens in the Summer of 2004, the fully tested facilities ready for passengers will include: air traffic control, aircraft fuelling and all aircraft related systems, China Southern Airlines’ new cargo centre and the new Nanland Catering Centre and the Terminal Complex, which includes the hotel/convention/exhibition centre, lounges, departure gates, and transit areas.
In addition more than 25,000 square meters of commercial space will be available at the Grand Opening for visitors and departing passengers, including: restaurants/cafeterias, “fast food”, retail shopping, banks, post offices, currency exchange, first aid and more.
Three different categories of airport lounges have been built and will be offered in three categories:
- Four exclusive VIP lounges;
- Eight first and business class lounges for China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club – the largest FFP program in China as well as other domestic and International airlines and
- Special membership-only club lounges
The first phase of the terminal complex of the new Baiyun International Airport will be 305,000 square meters which is 20,000 square meters larger than Beijing Capital Airport and approximately 50,000 square meters bigger than Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.
The new Baiyun International Airport terminal complex will ultimately be built-out to 700,000 square meters.
The design of the new Baiyun International Airport was recognized as one of the best architecture designs in the United States for Year 2000 by the AIA – The American Institute of Architects.
The new Baiyun International Airport is located some 22 kilometres from the current city airport and as Guangzhou residents come to the new Baiyun International Airport – they will arrive either via a high-speed Metro (currently under construction) or an ultra-modern, three-lane freeway which is already open for use.
The ground floor will house additional commercial space and the lowest level – linked by elevator and escalator – will be the entrance to the Metro to downtown Guangzhou.
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