Tianjin Binhai International Airport is an airport located east of Tianjin in Dongli District, Northern China. Tianjin (the fourth largest city in China) is one of the four cities directly governed by China central government.

An international harbour city located 120km east to Beijing with a population of more than 10.4 million people, it is one of the major air cargo centres in the People’s Republic of China and has been recognised as the first back-up airport for the 2008 Olympic Games.

International flights to the airport are primarily operated by Korean Air and Asiana Airlines to Seoul-Incheon International Airport but this is all set to change. The airport is operated by the Beijing Capital International Airport Group in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Administration of China and has one concrete runway (16/34 10,499ft, 3,200m).

“Tianjin Binhai International Airport is an airport located east of Tianjin in Dongli, Northern China”

Tianjin is the hub airport for the newly established and privately owned Okay Airways. In 2006 the airport handled 2.8 million passengers, up 26.3% since 2005; 100,000t of cargo, up 20.9% since 2005; and 55,000 flights, up 15.8% since 2005.

Currently, the airport has an established network mainly focusing on domestic service and north-eastern Asian services.

TIANJIN AIRPORT EXPANSION

The expanded airport will be four times as big as the old one. In 2008, the airport will have a second runway, and the expected number of passengers will exceed ten million (using the old and new terminals).

The design competition for the new international airport terminal for Tianjin was won by airport planners NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants BV) teamed with architects Kohn Pedersen Fox International (KPF) in an international competition.

Phase one of the new Tianjin Binhai International Airport will cater to six million passengers a year. When all phases of the new terminal master plan are complete, the capacity will exceed 40 million passengers a year with a total of 22 contact gates.

According to the ’11th five-year plan’, by year 2010, Tianjin International Airport will have ten to 20 international airlines, and 90 to100 domestic air lines. Between 2001 and 2004 the original terminal building of 5,100m² was expanded and another of 6,954m² was renovated. In addition a 4,90 m² administration building was built.

CURRENT AIRPORT WORK AND TIMELINES

Since August 2005 the 3bn-yuan ($386.7m) reconstruction and expansion project has been underway.

“Tianjin Binhai has been recognised as the first back-up airport for the 2008 Olympic Games.”

The project includes the construction of a new runway and the refurbishment and lengthening of the original one by 400m so that both are 3,600m long and 75m wide and will be of a standard suitable for the Airbus A380 to land and take off.

There will also be a new terminal building with an area of 60,000m² (phase one), and a new parking area of 45,000m². The phase one reconstruction and expansion work will finish at the end of 2007 and be officially put into operation in May 2008.

The terminal design resembles a bird or small plane with gates radiating out on two arms from a triangular main building with car parking facilities in front of the main terminal. The full design shows the result of two subsequent construction phases where two other triangular terminal buildings have been added on with additional arms for more contact gates.

The first phase of the airport expansion will provide a state-of-the-art terminal building, which is more than three times bigger than the current one. The roof of the terminal building resembles a kite (reflecting the kite-making tradition of Tianjin) and will have red and blue glass giving the airport a very specific atmosphere. The colour of the sails can be changed at the touch of a button. This allows the roof to celebrate the change of seasons, festivals, special events or national holidays.

When the three construction phases are complete the airport will have 180,000m² and be able to handle 40 million passengers a year. Over the period of the project the airport site will enlarge from the current 25,000km² to 80,000km². The airport as a whole will resemble Schiphol airport in size and will be able to handle over 500,000t of cargo and 200,000 flights a year.

“Tianjin is the hub airport for the newly established and privately owned Okay Airways.”

In July 2007 Vanderlande Industries was selected as the supplier of baggage handling equipment for the phase one terminal.

The system will incorporate four T-shape flat TRIPLANARs, two U-shape flat TRIPLANARs, two VERTIBELTs and three vertical sorters.

BINHAI NEW AREA

A new air cargo centre is being built in the economic zone around the airport, Binhai New Area. The cargo centre is located outside the airport boundary, and will carry air cargo traffic from Beijing and realise the traffic integration of Tianjin airport, Tianjin free trade zone and Beijing Capital International Airport.

In addition, Binhai New Area will also build a modern ecological aviation town with functions such as a plane assembly line, air traffic, processing logistics, research and development in civil aviation technology, exhibition, air maintenance and living.