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PEK Hit 80 Million Passengers on Dec 25th  
User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8288 times:

Beijing Capital International Airport hit the 80 million annual passengers volume yesterday. According to the prediction, this number will rise to 90 million in 2015.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-12/26/content_16057964.htm

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12902 posts, RR: 100
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8110 times:
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That is less growth than I expected. A few percent over 2011.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's...iest_airports_by_passenger_traffic

Quoting justinlee (Thread starter):
According to the prediction, this number will rise to 90 million in 2015.

That implies the airport is infrastructure bound. It is time for the 8 runway airport.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinehuaiwei From Singapore, joined Oct 2008, 1113 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7914 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):

That implies the airport is infrastructure bound. It is time for the 8 runway airport.

Really? Numerous airports round the world continue to burst at their seems despite obvious over-crowding. Jakarta is designed for 38 million, and handled 32 million in 2008, followed by:
- increased 15.2% in 2009 to reach 37 million
- increased 19.4% in 2010 to reach 44 million
- increased 19.3% in 2011 to reach 52 million

So what makes you think PEK's airport design was the primary reason for slowing growth?

[Edited 2012-12-26 09:12:02]


It's huaiwei...not huawei. I have nothing to do with the PRC! :)
User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7680 times:

Quoting huaiwei (Reply 2):
So what makes you think PEK's airport design was the primary reason for slowing growth?


The primary reason for PEK's capacity constrain is mainly the restricted air traffic control near Beijing area.


User currently offlinejet-lagged From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7450 times:

So what year will it become the World's Busiest Airport?

User currently offlinejet-lagged From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6938 times:

No opinions at all??

Ok. I'll make a prediction then, after doing a little checking. ATL serves about 15M more persons a year than PEK. PEK was growing around ten plus percent a year, and Atlanta five or less. That would close the gap in about three years. Last two years PEK is just a over a percent more per year. I will assume that over time it will grow three percent faster, maybe four, on average. Out of 80M that is another 2.5 to 3 million more growth. So, I'll predict that PEK will be the busiest airport in the word by 2019, no later than 2022. Let's see . . . .


User currently offlinethekennady From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6832 times:

We also must remember that WN be dissolving FL and reducing capacity out of ATL starting in 2013. So ATL will no doubt suffer a setback in passenger throughput. PEK may overtake ATL in 2-3 years.

User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1069 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6199 times:

Slightly off topic.
But every time I went through PEK terminal 3, mainly 3E, no matter what time of the day, it always looked empty.
Gates with no planes, deserted 4-5 consecutive gates, where are those planes and pax? It supposed to be busy all day? no?

Maybe smaller Chinese airports are offering more non-stop services and no need for international connection at PEK?



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4903 times:

Quoting jet-lagged (Reply 4):
So what year will it become the World's Busiest Airport?

It depends on the future growth rate of ATL also. If both of ATL and PEK remain the same growth, I will say 2017-2018 maybe.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 7):
But every time I went through PEK terminal 3, mainly 3E, no matter what time of the day, it always looked empty.
Gates with no planes, deserted 4-5 consecutive gates, where are those planes and pax? It supposed to be busy all day? no?

Maybe smaller Chinese airports are offering more non-stop services and no need for international connection at PEK?

I understand what you mean. T3E is exclusively for international flights. Due to the airport design, T3E is already out of the custom and immigration check. All domestic flights will use T3C instead.


User currently offline123 From Bolivia, joined Nov 2003, 745 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4771 times:

I think there´s a difference though, between ATL and PEK operations.

From my personal view, ATL is mainly a transit airport, this means that check-in and arrival handling are much less than at PEK, who handle a huge amount of own regional departure/arrival pax, whose requirements are totally different than only transit pax.

A.netters will correct me if I am wrong, please.


User currently offlineBC77008 From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 296 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4352 times:

By 2015 they will take the "world's busiest" title from ATL!! WOW!!!


"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
User currently offlineacedriver From China, joined Nov 2011, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4298 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
That implies the airport is infrastructure bound. It is time for the 8 runway airport.

PEK has whole a terminal (T3D) that is almost unused! If they haven't even reached the stage of using all the gates available, I don't think it is fair to say that PEK has reached its full potential.
The amount of slots available at PEK (and most other Chinese airports) is mainly limited by the amount of airways available. At the moment it is fairly clear that the current amount of airways are not sufficient to handle the sheer amount of traffic. So unless the government loosen the restrictions and reduce the number of no-fly zones, the 8-runway mega-airport wouldn't help much.

IMO, 2013 will see even more growth for PEK, as the new 72-hour visa free stay policy takes effect from 1.1.2013.


User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days ago) and read 4061 times:

Quoting nethkt (Reply 7):
But every time I went through PEK terminal 3, mainly 3E, no matter what time of the day, it always looked empty.
Gates with no planes, deserted 4-5 consecutive gates, where are those planes and pax? It supposed to be busy all day? no?

I had exactly the same impression. I flew into and out of PEK a few weeks ago, and I took both domestic and int'l flights, so I got to see both sides.

I had my hopes up when I was there. I knew this was the #2 busiest airport in the world, and expected it to be overflowing with people. I'm used to US airports, where every baggage claim is serving 5 incoming flights at once, and when a plane is being pushed back from the gate, there is so much ramp traffic that 10 ramp vehicles are backed up waiting to cross within seconds of the pushback. I was also expecting the gates and corridors to be full of people to the point it was difficult to find a seat or walk past. I was expecting to see a line of planes all waiting to take off.

Yet I saw non of that at PEK. If I compare to even a mid-size (by passenger count) airport in the US, they seem much busier than PEK.

A few weeks ago, I looked online to compare departures on the Monday 9am-10am timeslot (local time) at both PEK and DFW. I picked DFW since it has 1/3 less traffic than PEK. I counted about 30% more departures from DFW than PEK during that 1-hour period.

So what explains PEK's high passenger numbers? My theories so far are 1) US airports are more cramped so they just appear to be more crowded 2) US airports have more flights but using smaller planes, while the average pax count per plane on PEK is higher.

Do either of those seem plausible? I admit I was really perplexed at how empty PEK seemed, everywhere I went in the airport.


User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

Quoting jfidler (Reply 12):
So what explains PEK's high passenger numbers? My theories so far are 1) US airports are more cramped so they just appear to be more crowded 2) US airports have more flights but using smaller planes, while the average pax count per plane on PEK is higher.

I think the reason is both.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 12):
A few weeks ago, I looked online to compare departures on the Monday 9am-10am timeslot (local time) at both PEK and DFW. I picked DFW since it has 1/3 less traffic than PEK. I counted about 30% more departures from DFW than PEK during that 1-hour period.

I did a little research here. I picked the 9am-10am today:

PEK: 330x6, 777x3, 767x1, 380x1, 320x12, 737x20, Total: 43
DTW: 777x1, 340x1, 737x3, 320x4, 757x1, M88x2, CRJx23, ERJx4, Total: 39

Although the frequency is almost the same, you can see the seat capacity is quite different.


User currently offlineB2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3857 times:

Quoting jfidler (Reply 12):

Probably because all Chinese airports separate arriving and departing passengers so they do not ever mix. not convenient for transiting pax in my mind. US airports do mix them so they look busier. Also at PEK, remote "gates" are used quite often so you may often see jet bridges un-used.


User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3786 times:

Quoting B2443 (Reply 14):
Probably because all Chinese airports separate arriving and departing passengers so they do not ever mix. not convenient for transiting pax in my mind. US airports do mix them so they look busier. Also at PEK, remote "gates" are used quite often so you may often see jet bridges un-used.

The idea of separating arriving and departing passengers mainly reflects the different structure in China: the market is mainly driven by Point-to-Point passengers. It works sometimes but really not a good idea for transfer.

For the use of remote "gates", unlike most of the airports in the US, air bridges are not belong to carriers in China. Airports in China operate separately and charges a fee every time the carriers use air bridges. So unless the connecting time is really short, carriers in China tend to use remote "gates".


User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3571 times:

Quoting justinlee (Reply 13):
Although the frequency is almost the same, you can see the seat capacity is quite different.

Here is today, from PEK and CLT, 6pm-7pm departure times. I couldn't fit it all in the screenshot, but PEK and CLT have about the same (40) departures in that hour. PEK has 5 widebodies while CLT has only one widebody flight during that period. CLT has a lot of flights operated with RJs.

http://i.imgur.com/iQ6PK.jpg
(PEK)

http://i.imgur.com/ErFbz.jpg
(CLT)

However, CLT did only half the passenger traffic of PEK. So I guess it all comes down to the use of larger planes in PEK, that account for double the traffic of CLT?


User currently offlineB2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

Quoting jfidler (Reply 16):
However, CLT did only half the passenger traffic of PEK. So I guess it all comes down to the use of larger planes in PEK, that account for double the traffic of CLT?

Very true. 330/777's are used frequently for domestic routes as well, not just at PEK. If you count the aircraft movement at PEK, it's significantly less than the top busiest airports in the world, partly due to the very limited airspace granted to civil air traffic. And that's perhaps the reason PEK experiences so many delays everyday and slots are still so scarce.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12902 posts, RR: 100
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3464 times:
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Quoting huaiwei (Reply 2):
So what makes you think PEK's airport design was the primary reason for slowing growth?

Design capacity of T3 was 60 million per year. Yes, T2 is 29 million, so there should be room for growth on paper. But 3 runways generally start hitting constraints at 75 million passengers per year. It took years of LGW and LHR 'optimization' to exceed those levels. It isn't that PEK couldn't handle more, we're now at the stage where growth requires more detailed planning and coordination. Most likely some optimization, such as more cameras, to aid in ground control
http://ardent.mit.edu/airports/ASP_e...Li-ClassProject-BeijingAirport.pdf

But for a 3-runway airport, PEK is handling an amazing amount of traffic. PEK isn't as mature a market as LHR and thus the ratio of narrowbodies to widebodies will be higher. But the growth rate dropping as it has implies prime slots have become restrictive.

Quoting acedriver (Reply 11):
The amount of slots available at PEK (and most other Chinese airports) is mainly limited by the amount of airways available. At the moment it is fairly clear that the current amount of airways are not sufficient to handle the sheer amount of traffic. So unless the government loosen the restrictions and reduce the number of no-fly zones, the 8-runway mega-airport wouldn't help much.

Then new approaches mush be engineered. It would be silly to slow the growth of a centrally controlled economy by lack of access to the political machine. Or maybe that would speed growth.   However, traffic is now high for a 3-runway airport and much more optimization will be required for future growth.

Thus my opinion that Beijing needs the planned 8 runway airport. Note: I'm not a fan of split hubs, but the new airport will create that scenario.

I see PEK growing, but in increments. Could it soon be the top airport in terms of annual passenger movements? Sure. But PEK has grown past the 'easy growth' for a 3 runway airport. One easy growth is to become more 'A380 friendly' which infrastructure wise is pretty much done. The remained is policy.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3454 times:

It's amazing how PEK has rocketed up the pax number tables. I remember landing on my first trip to China in April 2003 on a nearly empty NH 767 from NRT in the middle of the SARS epidemic....the place was empty! I remember being shocked at seeing someone ride past us on a bike! Good times. Beijing too has changed nearly beyond recognition in the past 10 years.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 7):
But every time I went through PEK terminal 3, mainly 3E, no matter what time of the day, it always looked empty. Gates with no planes, deserted 4-5 consecutive gates, where are those planes and pax?

Yes, this has always confused me at PEK. I've been using the airport fairly regularly since 2003, is it really doesn't ever seem very busy. Queues at immigration are never long, and outbound security is also pretty quick (apart from T3 domestic first thing in the morning).

The airport is, however, massive. I landed once on the runway the other side of T1. The taxi to our stand at T3 was 30 minutes with continuous movement...crazy.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 16):
So I guess it all comes down to the use of larger planes in PEK, that account for double the traffic of CLT?

Of course, in the States, the average plane size is much smaller than in China. With very few exceptions, nothing smaller than 150 seats is used domestically. The Beijing-Shanghai-Guangzhou triangle shuttle runs a few times an hour, nearly always with 777 or 330. Having said that, planes are rarely 100% full, especially on the BJ-SH shuttles.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 18):
But for a 3-runway airport, PEK is handling an amazing amount of traffic. PEK isn't as mature a market as LHR and thus the ratio of narrowbodies to widebodies will be higher. But the growth rate dropping as it has implies prime slots have become restrictive.

Actually the 4th runway is in the plan, it will be a 2800m runway to the east of the current 01/19 runway. You can see the taxiway linking 01/19 and the new runway on the google earth.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12902 posts, RR: 100
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3259 times:
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Quoting justinlee (Reply 20):
Actually the 4th runway is in the plan, it will be a 2800m runway to the east of the current 01/19 runway. You can see the taxiway linking 01/19 and the new runway on the google earth.

I've heard nothing about a 4th runway. I couldn't find anything about it. I saw zero on Google earth.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinedavidho1985 From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2012, 322 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3226 times:
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Quoting acedriver (Reply 11):
PEK has whole a terminal (T3D) that is almost unused! If they haven't even reached the stage of using all the gates available, I don't think it is fair to say that PEK has reached its full potential.

Announced today, T3D will be opened in 2013Q1 as a domestic terminal.

p.s. T3D was the dedicated terminal for the 2008 Olympic releated flights and then remind unused till today.

[Edited 2012-12-28 18:24:50]

User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3207 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 21):
I've heard nothing about a 4th runway. I couldn't find anything about it. I saw zero on Google earth.

In addition, I add some photos here.

This is the blueprint for PEK. You can see the 4th and 5th runway.



And this is the google map photo. You can see some dead-end taxiways on the right of runway 01/19 (in the red circle).



User currently offlinebogoss From China, joined May 2012, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3101 times:

Quoting nethkt (Reply 7):
Slightly off topic.
But every time I went through PEK terminal 3, mainly 3E, no matter what time of the day, it always looked empty.
Gates with no planes, deserted 4-5 consecutive gates, where are those planes and pax? It supposed to be busy all day? no?

The international traffic of PEK is really not that large comparing to the airports of the same scale, such as AMS, CDG, DXB. I haven't seen any data yet but it is certain that most of the 80m are domestic traffic. That can explain why it looks empty in T3E. Also given the size of PEK's terminal 3, it can hardly look so awfully packed I reckon, even at T3C's gates, it has never been as crowded as T1 and T2(both domestic and international).


25 justinlee : Here is the data from 2012 Jan-Oct. Domestic: 55.21 million, 76.5% International, HK and Macau: 16.44 million, 23.5%
26 SCQ83 : Certainly US airports are more cramped... or maybe just more cost-concious. One thing that in my opinion helps to feel this difference is that even i
27 lightsaber : First, thank you. I had not seen the 'blueprint' before. The new West most runway makes sense. One runway for arrivals and one for departures. Howeve
28 jfklganyc : They are leading the way right now with a billion people. The US doesn't lead anymore, it follows. So are US airports more crowded? Yes. How long to b
29 justinlee : For Terminal 1, 2 runways may be too many for the capacity, but there is a taxiway bridge linking 18R/36L with Terminal 2 in the south. T1 and T2 can
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