CHINA. Shanghai Pudong International Airport today opened its second terminal as part of a US$2.8 billion long-term investment intended to make the city a leading global aviation hub.

Terminal Two will allow Pudong to handle 60 million passengers a year, double its existing capacity.

Speaking to reporters before the opening this week, Shanghai Airport Authority Chairman Wu Nianzu said: “As the passenger numbers and cargo flow have kept up double-digit growth for years, the old infrastructure can no longer satisfy the soaring demand. The target now is to make the airport the key hub of Asia’s air traffic.” By 2015 the airport will be able to handle 80 million passengers, he added.

The expansion was planned to ease pressure at the airport and handle the expected surge in visitors for the Beijing Olympics this year and the World Expo in 2010.

The wave-shaped T2 has 540,000sq m of space over three floors, and is almost twice the size of T1. It features 20,000sq m of retail space and a food & beverage offer that Shanghai Airport Authority said would match or better high street pricing.

There is a range of other services, including 54 baby-care rooms, free wireless internet access and extensive assistance for disabled people.

Shanghai Airport Authority Chairman Wu Nianzu wants to make Shanghai “a key hub” in Asia Pacific

A new transit centre connecting the two terminals also opened today. It offers access to the airport shuttle services, long-distance buses, the Maglev station, taxis and parking.

Automatic walkways connect the two terminal buildings. Passengers can get to any transport mode to leave the airport just five to 10 minutes after leaving the terminal halls.

A total of 33 airline companies will operate from T2. The first 15 companies moved today, while 18 carriers will follow on 29 April.

Shanghai Airport Authority plays host next week to the ACI Airport Business and Trinity Forum in Shanghai, organized by ACI and The Moodie Report. Delegates will be given a guided tour of the new terminal on 2 April – and will also celebrate the opening of SSP’s new F&B outlets at the terminal.

In an introduction to Shanghai’s airports for the Trinity programme, Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA) noted how, in 2003, China’s civil aviation authorities and the local government launched the Shanghai Air Hub Strategy, designed to connect the city with the rest of China and the world.

SAA said: “The persistent and rapid growth of China’s economy, as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai World Expo offer Shanghai’s airports golden development opportunities. In a spirit of innovation and collaboration, Shanghai Airport Authority will endeavour to speed up the development of the Shanghai Air Hub and provide quality services to China and the world in a more efficient way.”

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