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The steel structure of Beijing's new international airport passenger terminal has been completed

With the city’s existing airport at capacity, Beijing’s new international airport will serve the world’s fastest growing aviation sector. Initially accommodating 72 million passengers per year (630,000 flights/year on 4 runways), the new airport is designed for further expansion to accommodate 100 million passengers and 4 million tonnes of cargo annually. The 313,000 sq.m. new terminal building has been designed to be extremely user-focussed, efficient and adaptable for future growth; its 6-pier radial design gives exceptional convenience for passengers and flexibility in operations. Evolving from principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organise interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, the new terminal’s design guides all passengers seamlessly through the relevant departure, arrival or transfer zones towards the grand courtyard at its centre – a multi-layered meeting space at the very heart of the terminal. The terminal’s compact, radial design minimises distances between check-in and gate, as well as minimises distances between gates for transferring passengers. Every aircraft pier radiates directly from the terminal’s main central court where all passenger services & amenities are located. Flowing parabolic folds within the terminal’s vaulted roof reach to the ground to support the structure and bring natural light within, directing all passengers towards the central courtyard. Designed to adapt to operate in many different configurations dependant on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day, the new airport will include an integrated transport centre offering direct links to Beijing city centre, local rail services and the national high-speed rail network. Flight operations at Beijing’s new international airport are expected to begin in 2019. Xinhua Bloomberg Travel+Leisure