Located 32 kilometres northeast of the Beijing city centre, Beijing Capital International Airport is the city’s main international air terminal. It is owned and operated by the state-controlled Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited. In 2009, it was declared the busiest airport in Asia by total traffic movements and passenger traffic. In the succeeding years, it also made it to the list of the busiest airports in Asia. It serves as the primary hub for China’s flag carrier Air China.
Beijing Capital International Airport is composed of three terminals with Terminal 1 serving domestic destinations of Hainan Airlines and other subsidiaries except those flying to and from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau which operate from Terminal 2. The second terminal is the hub for airlines such as China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, SkyTeam members, and various domestic and international flights. Meanwhile, Terminal 3, the newest among the three is currently serving Air China, Star Alliance and Oneworld members, and those flights which are not serviced at Terminals 1 and 2. Its construction started in 2004 then was opened four years after. As part of the Move Under One Roof program which aims to co-locate alliance members, airlines such as LOT Polish Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways International, Singapore Airlines, and Air China, all under the Star Alliance, also utilise Terminal 3.
To hop from one terminal to the other, free inter-terminal shuttle buses are available for passengers. These vehicles ply every 10 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. then every 30 minutes from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Passengers can also choose to walk from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 or vice versa since it is connected by a lengthy public walkway.
Services and Facilities
Beijing Capital International Airport provides a wide range of service to its passengers from entertainment to business and even offering family friendly facilities. It also has a Duty Free, dining, and shopping stops for people who want to spend more time inside the airport.
Nursing rooms are also available for parents carrying their babies in their travel. These quarters come with changing tables, basins, seats, diapers, and baby wipes. The place is intended to provide mothers a safe place to care for their children. Changing areas or dressing rooms can also be found inside the airport and these are equipped with mirrors, hooks, tables, and chairs.
The airport also strives to be PWD-friendly with its handicapped-user-friendly facilities like the Blind Path and Handrail Braille which can be found on the driveways, entry ways, and front halls of the terminals. There is also a restroom dedicated for the handicapped which are available in all sections of the terminal buildings. It is made with a low-positioned basin and hand drier and also safety hand rails and an emergency call system.
Other airport facilities also include luggage trolleys, free charging stations, banks, a post office, kids’ activity zone, and public telephones. An hourly lounge and automatic vending machines is also located inside the airport. For those wanting to work out while waiting for their flights, there is also a fitness centre inside the airport.