This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. To mark the occasion, we are publishing a series of reports celebrating the city’s achievements in different aspects over the past four decades.
Shenzhen International Airport in Bao’an District has handled more than 560 million passenger trips since the aviation service was started in 1991. Its network connects with 60 cities abroad and covers five continents.
In 2019, the airport made double breakthroughs with annual passenger throughput exceeding 50 million to 52.9 million and international passenger volume reaching 5.25 million, statistics show.
Among the world’s top 50 airports, its ranking had jumped from 32nd to 26th in 2019.
In freight service, despite the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, the airport sought opportunities to optimize its cargo business and operated more than 20 passenger-to-cargo routes to some international hubs, including Los Angeles, Paris, Melbourne, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.
More than 610,000 tons of mail and cargo took off from the Shenzhen airport between January and June, a 4.5 percent increase year on year. Broken down, the international cargo throughput was 213,000 tons, an increase of 14.5 percent year on year. International freight business had been increasing, with the highest international cargo volume exceeding 1,400 tons for a single day. In June, a record 50 percent increase was recorded.
The Shenzhen airport was upgraded into an international aviation hub in the 13th Five-Year Plan on Aviation Development (2016-2020), and at the same time accelerated the opening of international routes in the three years after its first intercontinental route between Shenzhen and Sydney was inaugurated in January 2016.
Between 2016 and 2019, the airport opened more than 10 international routes every year. By the end of 2019, Shenzhen had been connected with 60 world cities, covering five continents. The turnover of international passengers kept increasing at an annual rate of 30 percent in recent years.
Domestically, air routes from Shenzhen can reach more than 180 cities.
Now the city is constructing its third runway through an investment of 12.3 billion yuan (US$1.76 billion). It will boost passenger throughput to 80 million a year from the present 50 million, and double freight and mail handling to 2.6 million tons, upon operation in 2030.
The third runway is a major project following the airport’s satellite hall project, which is expected to add 22 million passengers a year to the airport’s total capacity.
The satellite hall, located between T3 (Terminal 3) and the runways, will be connected to T3 and the future T4 by an underground fast transit system.
T4 and the third runway will be built on 4.2 million square meters of land that has been reclaimed from the sea, equivalent to 600 standard soccer pitches.