YUNNAN’S Kunming Changshui International Airport has started operations today, replacing the aging Wujiaba Airport.
With 66 aerobridges and more ramp space, the new hub will enable airlines to deploy aircraft larger than the Airbus A330 that China Eastern Airlines, Dragonair and occasionally Hainan Airlines operated into Wujiaba. The new airport is also certified to be capable of handling the Airbus A380.
The RMB23 billion (US$3.6 billion) facility boasts a current annual throughput of 38 million passengers, while plans to expand its throughput to 65 million are in the pipeline. The airport has two parallel runways located at 2,100m above sea level and an initial handling capacity of 303,000 flights.
Located 24.5km from the city centre, the airport features a gilded curvy roof resembling a golden bird in full flight. A highway and rail service connect the airport to downtown Kunming.