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July 17, 2019

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Pudong airport now easier with new tunnels

Two tunnel projects have been completed at Pudong airport to reduce the shuttle times for remote boarding, while better connecting T1 and T2 with the new satellite terminals.

The new terminals, the world’s largest satellite terminals known as S1 and S2, are about 700 meters from T1 and T2. They are scheduled to open later this year.

The new tunnels will serve luggage, shuttle and service vehicles between T1 and S1 as well as T2 and S2. A subway line will transport passengers between T2 and S2 through the tunnel, the Shanghai Airport Authority said yesterday.

The tunnels, along with an express subway system, will offer convenient transport between the existing terminals and the new facility. It will also reduce the shuttling time to some remote boarding stands to as short as two minutes.

Currently, shuttle buses have to detour around the taxiways T3 and T4, the airport’s busiest taxiways. The Pudong airport handles over 700 daily flights.

“Both the experiences of passengers using the remote boarding stands and the operational efficiency of the airport will be largely improved,” the airport authority said.

Construction on the tunnels started in December 2014.

Workers had to dig overnight as well as build temporary taxiways to avoid interrupting one of the world’s busiest airports, the authority said.

The Pudong airport, which serves over 200,000 daily passengers, kept operating during the work. 

Workers built a temporary T0 taxiway and shut down T3 and T4 alternately. They also had to work between midnight and 6am to avoid affecting busy daytime flights.

The construction team had to relocate complicated underground pipelines for air traffic control, intercommunications and aviation fuel.

Large-scale pipeline relocation for communications cables between the air traffic control tower, runways, radar stations and air traffic management centers was conducted during the tunnel project, the authority said.

The tunnels are also close to the parallel express subway systems. The closest distance is only 4.6 meters.

Shanghai’s two airports have been overloaded with huge turnovers of passengers and cargo that require facilities to be upgraded.

The Pudong and Hongqiao airports handled over 117 million passengers in 2018, a 5.2 percent increase year on year.

The airport authority has launched a series of expansion and renovation work, including the building of the satellite terminals that started in 2015.


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