Shanghai’s Pudong Airport Eyes Huge Expansion

Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport is about to open a massive expansion to its already vast facility and says that it will soon have the ‘world’s largest satellite terminal’.

Shanghai’s Pudong Airport Eyes Huge Expansion
The new Shanghai terminal building. Photo: Shanghai Airport

What are the details?

As initially reported by Business Traveller, the airport is set to open ‘two’ new terminals this month… but has yet to actually give a specific date to media. So far we only know that Delta has issued a notice that all their flights will operate out of the new terminal from September 23rd and that the airport authority mentioned in April that there will be a rail link between the two terminals open by September.

“The third phase expansion project of Pudong Airport is of good quality, and all kinds of facilities and equipment are operating normally, in line with the current technical standards and relevant regulations of civil aviation.”Translated from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport press release.

The airport press release goes on to boast about vast glass walls and sweeping ceilings that don’t require columns to support.

The new terminal as seen from above. Photo: Shanghai Airport

What is the new terminal like?

The new terminal is actually split into two distinct terminals to match the two existing terminals at the airport.

Shanghai’s Pudong Airport Eyes Huge Expansion
The two terminals as seen from above. On the left is the original two terminal buildings (T1 and T2) and to the right is the new terminals (S1 and S2). Photo: Shanghai Airport Authority

The new terminals are H-shaped as seen from above and will have 622,000 square meters of floor space. The Asia Times reported that it took 8,000 workers three years to build the new facility and it required rerouting entire taxiways to build the underground infrastructure (baggage handing and the new rail link). The new terminal has a capacity for 83 aircraft to arrive via jet bridges and 125 to be parked at remote stands.

S1 is believed to be for China Eastern and other Skyteam members (such as Delta) whilst S2 will be for Air China and its Star Alliance partners. Passengers traveling on these airlines will check-in still at the main terminal buildings, before riding the trains to the satellite terminals.

And this new capacity is required, with the airport keen to hit a target of 110 million passengers per year by 2025. Last year they reached only 74 million passengers. In combination with Shanghai’s other airport Hongqiao, which mainly focuses on smaller local routes or domestic travel, the city hub is the fifth busiest in the world (behind the likes of London, New York, Tokyo, and Atlanta).

The rail link between the two terminals. Photo: Shanghai Airport

Shanghai is in a good location compared to other competitor hubs such as Hong Kong or Singapore. With close access to many densely populated cities, Shanghai is closer to North American destinations (and Europe) than their southern counterparts.

What do you think of these new terminal buildings? Will it affect your travel? Let us know in the comments.