Planning to visit China soon? Whether it is for vacation or business purpose, if you take a plane, it will take you to the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA). It is the gateway to enter China, regardless of where you come from. You can imagine how busy it is with so many flights serviced for both domestic and international. Unless you have been familiar with this place, you must anticipate what may happen right after stepping your feet off of the plane.
History of Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport has been opened since March 2nd 1958. At first, it only had a small terminal building that still remains to serve VIPs and charter flights. Terminal 1 was built then on January 1st 1980. It was a development project to add the apron and parking lot.
The next project was the building of terminal 2 on 1995 which officially started to operate in 1999. Meanwhile, Terminal 1 was closed due to renovation and re-opened in 2004. The next one is Terminal 3 which was completely constructed in 2008. it can handle passengers up to 73,770,000 in 2012, making the Beijing Capital International Airport become the second busiest one in the world after the Atlanta Airport in the US.
Beijing Airport Terminals
Beijing Airport Terminal 1 (T1)
Opened officially on January 1st 1980, this terminal has been completed with the additional facilities like car parks and parking apron. It also became the operational base for all domestic flights since 2008 within its 60,000 square metes of large.
Beijing Airport Terminal 2 (T2)
The Terminal 2 is larger and has more modern facilities compared to the T1, which was officially being operated on November 1st 1999. With the 336,000 square meters of large, it can handle 26,5000,000 passengers every year and 9,210 ones at peak hours. Thanks to the linking passage between the T1 and T2 which allows guest transfer conveniently.
Beijing Airport Terminal 3 (T3)
Terminal 3 was built to anticipate the increasing traffic volume due to the Olympic Games in 2008. This larger terminal makes BCA get ranked as the second largest one in the world. Shaped like a dragon, Terminal 3 consists of three parts. They are T3A or the head, T3B as the tail and T3C or the body. There are also two satellite terminals, i.e. Terminal 3D and Terminal 3E.
Beijing Airport Facilities
Get hungry when arriving at the airport? Do not worry. There are dozens of restaurants spread in Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. You can also enjoy the layover time by taking the advantages of the airport services including Wi-Fi, business centre, fitness centre, and lounges. If you need electric cars, wheelchairs skycaps or escorts, you will find them. There are also times to enjoy such cultural events. Take for example the periodic performances by the Staff Art Troupe close to the Terminal 3E fountain.
Transportation in Beijing Airport
Heading to the city from the airport is so much easy. You have some transportation options including the Beijing Subway’s Airport Express Line, buses, taxis, limousines and shared-ride shuttles. It is also possible to rent a car. But make sure you have a Chinese driver’s license as the international one is not recognized by country.
A visa is needed to travel to China. It is also possible to stay in Beijing for 72 hours without a visa. This regulation has been released since 2013 but only applies to transit visitors from certain countries including Austria, Iceland, Spain, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Singapore. You can go to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate near to your place to learn more about this immigration requirement.
Ready to Go?
The best time to visit China is in autumn, between September and October. You can expect for warm weather with sunny days and cooler nights. Wherever you come from, rely on the flight ticket booking at Airpaz that offers cheap prices.