The Beijing Capital international Airport is the main airport serving the capital city of China, Beijing. It is a public-type airport operated by the Beijing Capital International Airport Company Ltd., a state-controlled company. The airport's IATA code is PEK, a salute to the city's former name, Peking.
Opened in 1958 and located in an enclave of Chaoyang District and the surroundings of suburban Shunyi District, Beijing Capital, or so it is fondly called – has rapidly ascended in rankings of the world's busiest airports in the past decades. It had become the busiest airport in Asia in terms of passenger traffic and total movements by 2009, and is the second busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic from 2010-2013, and the second-busiest airport in the world (in all aspects) in 2014.
The airport is the main hub for Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic China, which flies around 120 destinations from Beijing, excluding cargo Services. It is also the hub for China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, and a focus city for China Eastern Airlines and S7 Airlines.
Terminal 1 – Terminal 1 was opened on January 1, 1980, replacing the smaller existing terminal which was in operation since the airport's opening in 1958. It was closed for renovation for a brief period, during which all airlines operated from then Terminal 2. Terminal 1 now features 16 gates, and was the operational base for China Southern Airlines' domestic routes and a few other airlines such as Xiamen Airlines and Chongqing Airlines. With the opening of the third terminal, Terminal 1 was again closed off for light refurbushing, and its airlines were moved to Terminal 2 on May 2008. Terminal 1 was reopened for the second time the next month, and became the operational base for all domestic flights operated by the HNA group, including those of Hainan Airlines, Grand Air China, Deer Air, and Tianjin Airlines.
Terminal 2 – opened in 1999, Terminal 2 was used to replace Terminal 1 while the latter was undergoing renovation. It was home to majority of domestic flights and all international flights before the reopening of Terminal 1 and the opening of Terminal 3 in 2008; today, it houses all flights from China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Skyteam airlines, Air Koryo, and other domestic and international flights. Terminals 1 and 2 are linked by a public walkway that takes about 10-15 minutes to traverse.
Terminal 3 – the newest terminal to the Beijing Capital International Airport, this impressive piece of architecture was the largest airport terminal building complex in the world to be built in a single phase with 10.6 million square feet in total floor area at its opening. It features the main terminal, 3C, and two satellite concourses, 3D and 3E, along with five floors above ground and two underground. Only two concourses were initially opened, while the others were opened in 2013. Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital is currently the second largest airport passenger terminal building of the world. It surrendered its title to the Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 in October of 2008, with the latter beating out the former to form an impressive 18.4 million square feet of floor space.
Services and Facilities
The Beijing Capital International Airport is a state-of-the-art facility with complete passenger services and other commercial services. Its facilities from top-down are top-of-the range too – from security down to the minute detail of having diaper changing stations within restrooms. Information desks, ground transportation, and hotel services can also be accessed from here. Food service and even cultural entertainment are also available through the airport.