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Beijing's new airport terminal set to open ahead of Olympics

Beijing's new airport terminal set to open ahead of Olympics

Beijing opens the doors this week to its latest Olympic creation _ a massive glass-and-steel airport terminal with a gently sloping roof that will welcome visitors to the Summer Games.
Fronted by pillars of deep imperial red, Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport boasts polished floors and a high ceiling dotted with triangular skylights.
The huge, airy interior will have 64 Western and Chinese restaurants, 90 retail shops, and a state-of-the-art-baggage handling system. A high-speed commuter train will whisk passengers into the city, while the runway is capable of handling Airbus' huge A380 superjumbo.
The terminal is a centerpiece project for the Olympics designed to relieve the overloaded airport's other two terminals and accommodate expected rapid growth in the number of visitors to Beijing.
The terminal is "a safe and efficient non-competition venue for the much anticipated Beijing Olympics Games," said Dong Zhiyi, deputy general manager of the Capital Airport Holding Co.
"It is the pride of the Chinese nation," Dong told reporters Tuesday.
Six international and domestic airlines will begin operating in the terminal Friday, while others will switch over from the other two terminals in March. The Olympics start Aug. 8.
On Tuesday, the sound of hammering and the buzz of electric saws could be heard as workers rushed to put finishing touches on shops and other facilities. Glass windows and doors were polished, shelves were stocked and plastic covers were torn off chairs behind check-in counters. Electricians worked on last-minute wiring as signs with airline logos lay on the sidewalk.
Designed by British architect Norman Foster, the building attempts to combine traditional architectural elements with up-to-date technology. Its red columns and matte gold roof are meant to evoke Beijing's imperial palaces and temples.
Dong said it took just under four years to build the terminal, its runway and most of the related infrastructure, a compressed timetable to ensure it was ready for the Olympics.
The floor space of the terminal and ground transportation center covers 1.3 million square meters (14 million square feet).
The Games are a source of great pride to the Chinese, and Beijing has been turned into a massive construction site over the last seven years as it undergoes a US$40 billion (


Updated : 2021-03-03 13:52 GMT+08:00