2 minute read

Leaps and Bounds

THE BIGGEST AIRPORT SERVING the capital of the People’s Republic of China experienced many major expansions and improvements since its inception in 1958. China’s No. 1 Gateway, as it is known locally, remains one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

With China’s growth on the international stage, Beijing Capital International Airport’s traffic volume also grew. Between 1978 and 2014 the airport expanded from serving 1.03 million passengers every year to 86.13 million passengers annually. The jump represents the secondlargest growth among airports in the same timeframe. In addition to serving a massive number of passengers annually, the airport works hard to uphold standards of social responsibility. To this end it produces annual corporate responsibility reports and constantly works toward a positive economic impact for the surrounding region.

Beijing, located in the northeast portion of the country, is the second-most populous city in the world at 18.5 million people. In order to accommodate such a robust city, Beijing Capital International Airport needs to implement special service standards.

The entire airport operation hinges on being able to run smoothly even while dealing with massive numbers of passengers. On-site check-in opens about 90 minutes before takeoff on domestic flights and extends to two hours for international flights. Like all major airports, Beijing Capital recommends perusing security guidelines before arrival so there are no surprises when guests finally travel through security.

This behemoth of an airport really stands out in terms of guest entertainment and culture. Between airport staff putting on performances for guests, art exhibitions and more, the airport offers plenty to catch the eye of travelers as they make their way through the facility. The staff art troupe performs singing, dancing and magic shows every day at Terminal 3-E. In the same terminal, guests can feed fish at two gardens with complimentary feed supplies and take in cultural performances as well.

Just as much visual wonderment catches guests’ interest throughout the rest of the airport. With fountain-bolstered rainbows, photography walls, digital experience zones and much more, guests always find something to look at while they make their way to their gates. Terminal 1 is home to the secret garden display, indicative of the tropical destinations guests may see when departing from that terminal, while other terminals feature playgrounds for children and lounges for passengers to comfortably pass the time until their departure.

Beijing Capital International Airport was founded more than 50 years ago, but it continues to grow and adapt. With nearly 100 million passengers in 2017, the last year measurements were available, it is safe to say it is still growing and serving Beijing well.

BY ERICH MARTIN