Sunday, October 19, 2008

Terminal Disease

Terminal 2, Pudong Airport, Shanghai

Terminal disease (not a terminal disease, thankfully) is currently an affliction of mine, not something exhibited in anyway at all by Shanghai airport's terminal 2.

While I'm seeing way too many different kinds for my tastes - quite to the point where I am indeed sick of them - I would nevertheless have to congratulate the Chinese authorities for the design and implementation of the new terminal 2. It's broad, light, spacious, well laid out and quite frankly yet another testament to the skills of Richard Rogers the architect they brought in to create a new gateway to China's most prosperous area.

From the upstairs lounge, you can see that the main runway runs parallel to the terminal building, affording a great view of the aircraft taking off and landing. Beyond that, you get a similar vista, this time though of ships entering and leaving Shanghai's immensely busy seaport. Most entertaining.

Since the airport was built to offer a lot of headroom for future passenger growth it means that today the typical traffic load is way below capacity, leading to a very pleasant sense of not being crowded or harried anywhere at all in the process of going from check-in to departure.

This contrasts sharply with the Heathrow experience at T5 which already felt cramped, hot and fatiguing the last time I was there, an experience I'll get to re-asses in about, oh shall we say, 24 hours .... ?

Round 2 begins.

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