With construction of a third terminal for Nanjing’s airport progressing quickly, so too will the growing hub be able to continue its trend of offering more flights to cities nationwide, as well as an increasingly exotic selection of international destinations.
This summer’s peak in air travel, together with a slew of new, and very popular, holiday destinations, offered by Nanjing Lukou International Airport, has highlighted a lack of capacity at the facility that in fact stretches back many years.
For a fairly large city, by anyone’s standards, Nanjing’s airport was for many years, far smaller than other comparable cities. As a result, flight capacity was severely limited. The opening of the high-speed railway between Nanjing and Shanghai, together with Shanghai’s Hongqiao Transportation Hub in 2010 and Nanjing South Railway Station in 2011, was ironically, a godsend for many business air travellers. Rather than try to find a flight out of Lukou, they would simply hop on the fast train to Hongqiao Airport. That or use another airport in the Yangtze River Delta.
The lack of capacity at Lukou was exacerbated by the fact that a considerable portion of passengers at Lukou in fact came from satellite cities to Nanjing, particular in nearby Anhui Province, cities such as Ma’anshan, Wuhu and Xuancheng. It is also worth noting that the latter two will soon be served by Wuhu Xuancheng Airport, sited between the two cities and slated to open in December of this year.
Back in Nanjing, Phase 2 of Lukou, that included Terminal 2 and a second runway, and opening just in time for the Youth Olympics of 2014, provided temporary relief, but capacity is now once again strained.
So it is that Phase 3, comprising Terminal 3 and a third runway, is well on course. Terminal 3 will sit opposite Terminal 2 as its mirror image, with the at-present unused Terminal 1 in the centre.
As to the longer-term plan for the airport, Phase 4 will include two additional satellite terminals, located in line with T2 and T3 to the southwest, together with the expansion of T1 and a fourth runway.