Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Pudong International Airport was constructed in 1997 to meet the growing international traffic demands of the Shanghai metropolitan area. The airport occupies more than 15 square miles east of Shanghai near the coast of the East China Sea. It is a hub for more than one major Chinese airline, and it’s considered an international gateway for the rest of the world. The airport serves more than 40 million passengers and 3 million tons of cargo per year, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. It hosts 87 airlines flying to nearly 200 different destinations across the globe. It is also a major hub for several different large cargo carriers, connecting express delivery in Asia with the rest of the world.
History of Shanghai Pudong Airport
The history of Shanghai Pudong International Airport goes back less than 20 years. From the late 1920s to the late 1990s, Hangqiao International Airport was responsible for handling all of the air traffic coming in and out of Shanghai. Due to space restrictions at Hangqiao, Chinese officials decided to build Pudong International. Construction began in late 1997 and finished in late 1999. Initially the airport had one concrete runway and parking for more than sixty aircraft. A $400 million expansion plan was approved by the national government in 2011. The plan created a new runway, supporting taxiways and a new high-tech air traffic control tower. Both Pudong and Hangqiao airports have a mix of international and domestic traffic, but Pudong is primarily responsible for international flights while Hangqiao is responsible for domestic.
Shanghai Pudong International airport has two terminals with more than 200 passenger gates combined. The exterior of terminal one copies its wavy design from the terminal in Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan. The second terminal opened nearly ten years after Shanghai Pudong opened in 1999. Its opening coincided with the finished construction of a third runway, allowing the airport to support up to 60 million passengers per year and 4 million tons of cargo. Terminal two also allowed the facility to support the arrivals and departures of 14 additional international airlines.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport is equipped with many high-tech services and facilities. Business centers located in terminal one and two allow passengers to send emails and faxes or make long-distance phone calls. Vending machines serving hot drinks, snacks and small electronics are located throughout terminal one and two. Each terminal is also home to a wide variety of specialty shops and entertainment zones for passengers who have a long wait before their flight.
Shanghai has an extensive public transportation network that connects passengers with numerous locations in the city. The Shanghai Maglev Train provides a high-speed link between Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road Metro Station. The train is considered the first high-speed Maglev in the world. It can reach speeds over 250 miles per hour, allowing travel between the airport and the metro station in less than ten minutes. Traditional metro lines are available to passengers who want to pay less, but travel to the center of Shanghai can take more than an hour by this method. Travelers can also ride airport buses to get to various locations throughout the city.