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Chengdu Tianfu, China | $11 Billion Mega New Airport Opens

BEIJING: China’s another mega Chengdu Tianfu International Airport has officially commenced operations on Sunday June 28. The Airport opened a new gateway to the city’s giant pandas and greater Sichuan Province. Currently capable of handling 60 million passengers annually, Tianfu is also set to double capacity in due course.

Phase one, encompassing three runways and two terminals, has been constructed at a cost of approximately 70 billion yuan ($10.8 billion). Upon completion of Phase Two, Tianfu Airport will have 6 runways and house terminals taking up 1.26 million square meters.

The airport’s first flight was a Sichuan Airlines A350-900 service to Beijing on Sunday, carrying 262 passengers, with Beijing Airlines and China Eastern following soon after. Chengdu Airlines, Spring Airlines and Lucky Air will also be launching services over the coming days.

After Shanghai and Beijing, Chengdu is the third Chinese city to have two major airports. Tianfu is the largest civil transport airport under the 13th Five-Year Plan from 2016 to 2020.

Chengdu Tianfu Airport was designed by a joint Chinese-French architectural consortium, according to state media. Construction of Phase One has taken five years, implementing ‘cutting-edge’ technologies including AI (such as robot airport staff), facial recognition and automated check-in. A new metro line links Tianfu to central Chengdu, with the high-speed train taking around 40 minutes.

With a length of 4,000m and a width of 75m, one of Tianfu’s runways is the highest level 4F runway that can support passenger aircraft; this is according to Airport Technology.

Tianfu Airport is one of 159 new airports being built by the Chinese government over the coming years. China aims to have 400 airports in use by 2035, a large increase from the current 241, according to the Transportation Network Planning Outline issued in early 2021.

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