The Kunming Changshui International Airport is located 22km east of the downtown area of Kunming, China. Image courtesy of Luodingyu.
A view of the terminal building of Kunming Changshui International Airport. Image courtesy of Luodingyu.
The terminal has retail outlets, shops, restaurants, coffee shops, banks and other facilities. Image courtesy of Luodingyu.
The passenger terminal of Kunming Changshui International Airport was designed by SOM and Arup. Image courtesy of Chinneeb.


Kunming Changshui International Airport serves the city of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, in China. Located 22km east of downtown Kunming, it opened in June 2012 to replace the old Kunming Wujiaba International Airport, which is set to be dismantled.

The new airport connects Asia and Europe, and acts as a gateway to South and Southeast Asia. A hub for China Eastern Airlines, Kunming Airlines and Lucky Air; Kunming Changshui International is operated by Yunnan Airport Group.

Kunming Airport project was approved during the 11th Five-Year Plan Period (2006-2010). It was built with an estimated investment of Yuan 23bn ($3.6bn) and is the first LEED-certified "Green Airport" in China.

"The new airport connects Asia and Europe, and acts as a gateway to South and Southeast Asia."

The airport witnessed 16,900 aircraft movements in July 2012, while passenger throughput in the same month was 2.1 million. Kunming Changshui currently records an average of 560 aircraft movements a day and is expected to handle 38 million passengers and 950,000t of cargo annually by 2020.

Kunming Changshui passenger terminal design and facilities

The main terminal was designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) in association with engineering firm Arup. Its construction was completed by July 2011. The 423,500mN (4.55 million ftN) building is now the biggest terminal in Greater China and among the top five in the world.

The terminal features a 120,000mN (1.29 million ftN) glass façade supported by cable-net, and 190,000mN (2.04 million ftN) of double-slope golden rooftop.

"A hub for China Eastern Airlines, Kunming Airlines and Lucky Air; Kunming Changshui International is operated by Yunnan Airport Group."

The majority of passenger facilities are located at B1, L1, L2 and L3 levels of the terminal building. The commercial area of the terminal is divided into six different zones spread over 35,000mN (376,736ftN) and includes retail outlets, shops, snack bars, coffee shops, banks and a post office.

Passengers are offered lounges located near the international and domestic departure halls on level F2. Other facilities include first aid rooms, children’s playrooms, luggage storage, lost and found service, and luggage packing service counters.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator supplied 77 passenger boarding bridges, 98 escalators and 34 moving walkways to the airport, under a contract awarded in October 2011.

Kunming Changshui International Airport baggage handling systems

Kunming Changshui is equipped with a baggage system that is compliant with the IATA standard. The system can screen a single piece of checked baggage with a maximum length of 0.9m, width of 0.5m and height of 0.65m. It allows single pieces of luggage with minimum dimensions of 0.25m length, 0.05m width and 0.2m height.

Related project

Terminal 3, Beijing Capital International Airport, China

Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) in China is the second-largest passenger terminal in the world. The floor area of the terminal complex is about 986,000m² (244 acres).

Kunming Changshui International Airport runways

Kunming Changshui has two parallel runways. The length and width of the east runway, which is capable of handling Airbus A330, are 4,500m and 60m respectively. The west runway has a length of 4,000m and width of 45m. Both runways are asphalt surfaced and covered with Dow Corning 890SL pavement silicone sealant to extend the service life and reduce maintenance requirements.

Kunming Changshui International Airport ground transportation

Kunming Changshui Airport offers various modes of transportation such as subway, shuttle bus and taxi. It is connected by the first phase of Kunming Subway Line 6 of the Kunming Metro, which operates between the airport and East Bus Station.

The new airport is also linked to Kunming city by a new 13km toll highway and the Provincial Road S101. Frequent shuttle bus services operate between the downtown area and the airport. Buses are also run to the airport from the main passenger transport stations, such as the East, South, North and West Bus Stations.