Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is located in Taoyuan County in Taiwan. It is the busiest airport in the country and acts as a port of entry for flights that are headed into China. The airport is the thirteenth busiest international airport in the world. The airport was previously known as Chiang Kai-shek International Airport. The name was changed in 2006 after a controversial vote in Taiwan. Many people in Taiwan still refer to the airport by the previous name. Most of official international documents and navigational maps still list the location as Chiang Kai-shek International Airport.
History of the Airport
The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was originally opened in 1979. It was specifically designed to help relieve the traffic at the other airports in Taiwan that were becoming overcrowded as air travel into Asia increased. The facility was first opened with a single terminal and one runway. This was increased to two runways and two terminals as passenger traffic and flights increased steadily. The airport is still undergoing renovations including the addition of a third terminal in order to handle the projected increase in flights that is expected over the next 10 years. Several offices are located in the facility including a special migrant worker center that allows people working in Taiwan to enter the country quickly.
Taiwan Taoyuan Airport Operations
The airport has two primary runways located to the north and south of the main terminals. The north runway is 12,000 feet long and 60 feet wide. The south runway is almost 11,000 feet long and is 60 feet wide. Renovations are planned that will lengthen and widen the runways. They will also have the concrete surface redone so that the airport can handle the largest modern passenger planes like the Airbus A380. The northern runway has a special landing and navigation system that allows pilots to land even when visibility is severely restricted.
The airport currently has two terminals available for passengers. Terminal 1 was constructed when the airport first opened. It has since undergone a few renovations in order to modernize the facility. The layout of the terminal was originally based on the design of the terminal at Dulles International in Washington. The terminal occupies 1.8 million square feet of space. It contains five floors. There are currently 18 gates available divided between two concourses on the north and south sides of the facility. Terminal 2 has over 3.4 million square feet of indoor space. It was constructed in 2000 in order to relieve the crowding in the main terminal. Terminal two has 20 gates split between two concourses. Recent renovations have added many shops and passenger services to the terminals such as a business center and additional parking.
The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport handled almost 25 million passengers in 2011. The number of visitors passing through the airport each year has increased by over 6 million people since the second terminal was opened in 2000. The airport handled a record number of takeoffs and landings on the runways in 2011. More than 163,000 aircraft operations took place during that year. The airport has become a major entry point for goods moving in and out of China. This has resulted in over 1.5 million tons of cargo passing through the airport each year.
The airport contains a number of separate buildings outside of the terminals including an aviation museum, a special building that is reserved for notable guests and a convention center. The airport is expected to see an increase in traffic in the coming years. Plans are now underway to construct a large third terminal on the grounds that will be able to handle over 40 million more passengers every year.