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    Welcome to the Ambassablog! We're the front-line employee bloggers of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and participants in the Airport Authority's Goodwill Ambassador Program.

    Here you'll find our continually updated posts about life at historic San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh Field).

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An incredible Olympic gateway

Did you see the spectacular Olympics closing ceremonies last night? If you’ve been as excited about the Olympics as I’ve been , you religiously watched the primetime coverage every evening, including the short local broadcast, “The Olympic Zone.” While watching the other night, I saw a story about Beijing’s newly expanded Beijing Capital International Airport.

You can see a cool slide show of the airport here.

Excited to find an Ambassablog tie-in to the Olympics, I decided to capture some interesting facts about Beijing airport’s massive new Terminal 3, pictured here, to share with you:

  • Terminal length: 1.8 miles
  • Check-in counters: almost 300
  • Baggage system: can transport up to 20,000 bags an hour
  • Total cost: approximately $3.8 billion
  • Construction time: less than 4 years, using 50,000 workers
  • Terminal building size: about 220 acres. (By comparison, all of San Diego International Airport SDIA sits on just 661 acres!)
  • The design incorporated advice from a Feng Shui expert
  • Environmental sustainability considerations were also part of the design
  • And, yes, among many other concessions, the terminal includes a Starbucks

The new terminal opened earlier this year in March and is the world’s largest airport building. I think it’s a fitting addition to one of the world’s busiest airports! The extra capacity helped support international travel for this year’s Olympic Games.

The new Beijing terminal is part of a larger expansion project that included adding a third runway to the airport. The modifications will help increase Beijing’s ability to serve more than 80 million passengers a year.

If you’re not impressed yet, imagine this: China is already designing an additional all-new international airport in Beijing that would open in 2015. Wow!

How does that compare to our airport here in San Diego? Our Airport Master Plan guides the development of SDIA to meet future growth demands. San Diego’s terminal development plans include adding 10 gates to Terminal 2, as well as additional facility improvements such as taxiway improvements, more aircraft parking and a second-level roadway.

I haven’t heard of any Feng Shui plans for our airport, but I do know that new development here will incorporate environmentally sustainable designs.

I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have the Olympics here in San Diego someday. Just imagine what our airport gateway might look look like then.

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