Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (IATA: CTU, ICAO: ZUUU) (simplified Chinese: 成都双流国际机场; traditional Chinese: 成都雙流國際機場; pinyin: Chéngdū Shuāngliú Guójì Jīchǎng) is the major airport in Chengdu, China. It is located in the north of Shuangliu County, about 16 kilometres (10 mi) southwest of downtown Chengdu.
In 2009, it was the busiest airport in Western China and the 6th busiest airport nationwide in terms of passenger traffic, with 22,637,762 passengers handled. Shuangliu Airport was also the 6th busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic and the 6th busiest airport by traffic movements in China as for 2009.
On May 12, 2008 the airport was temporarily shut down after sustaining some minor damages from the great Sichuan Earthquake but was quickly reopened the following day after inspection of the runway. The continued operation of the airport played a crucial role in facilitating the rescue work after the earthquake.
There is also a long-term plan to build a second airport in Jintang County with five runways. Upon completion, it will take less than 30 minutes to travel from Jintang to downtown Chengdu.
The airport, formerly named Shuangguisi Airport, opened in 1938 as a military airfield, in which capacity it operated during the second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. At that time, it possessed only earth surface for small biplanes to take off and touch down.
During World War II, the airport was known as Shwangliu (Shaungliu) Airfield and was used by the United States Army Air Forces Fourteenth Air Force as part of the China Defensive Campaign (1942–1945). It was used as a fighter base by the 33d Fighter Group, which flew P-47 Thunderbolt figher-bombers from the airport in 1944 to support Chinese ground forces, and also by reconnaissance units that operated camera-equipped P-38 Lightnings that located Japanese forces and provided intelligence to the fighter-bombers. The Americans closed their facilities at Shwangliu Airfield at the end of August 1945.
On December 12, 1956, the Shuangguisi Airport was put under civil aviation, which was then formally listed as a civil aviation airport and renamed Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. In 1957, the flights of Chengdu civil aviation were shifted to Shuangliu Airport from Guanghan Airport. The flight courses from Chengdu were thus opened to various cities within China including Beijing, Taiyuan, Xi An, Chongqing, Kunming, Guiyang, Nanchong, etc. The airport went through several earlier expansions in 1959, 1967, 1983, 1991, respectively.
A large-scale expansion was conducted on flight area and navigation area from 1994 to 2001. The runway was extended to 3,600m with Class 4E rating, allowing for larger jumbo jets including Boeing 747-400. The newly built terminal building was incorporated with three-parallel-porch design, accommodating an hourly capacity of 3,500 passengers at rush hours, while the previous terminal building was only designated for regional flights within Sichuan and Chongqing henceforth.
The airport is now an international civil airport with flights to more than 20 international destinations and many domestic airports, and is a hub for United Eagle Airlines, Air China and Sichuan Airlines. It is linked to downtown Chengdu by an expressway.
The construction of its second runway started from late 2008 and has started service in December 2009. The completed new runway, with 3,600 m length and 60 m width, upgraded the previous flight area rating from 4E to 4F, capable of handling the Airbus A380. The new Terminal 2 has started construction in June 2009 and is expected to be in service in 2011. The new terminal is twice the size of the current T1, which will allow the airport to handle up to 35 million passengers annually by the time of completion.
Airlines and destinations
Flights to and from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are treated as international flights.
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