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Blogging Beijing

The 2008 Summer Olympics will punctuate three decades of development and test China's global legitimacy. They've already transformed the way millions of people think and live. Seattleite and Fulbright researcher Daniel Beekman brings you Beijing.

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July 25, 2008 9:40 AM

T3 - Beijing's dragon-inspired airport

Posted by Daniel Beekman

Beijing Capital Airport's monstrous Terminal 3 opened months ago, but these next two weeks will serve as its real debut. Most of the 200,000-plus foreigners expected to attend China's first-ever Olympic Games will touch down at 'T3.'

Designed by celebrity English architect Norman Foster, the 986,000 square meter structure resembles a 'flying dragon.' It rests on smooth crimson pillars and boasts a warped, scaly golden roof.

It just got easier for Seattleites to visit T3. On June 10, Hainan Airlines launched its new nonstop service between Seattle and Beijing.

So book a flight - check out East Asia's answer to London Heathrow and New York JFK.

Or, if a quick jaunt to China sounds infeasible, scroll through Blogging Beijing's photos of T3 below.


Beijing Capital Airport - Terminal 3

'T3' at night - 50,000 workers toiled nearly four years on the world's largest airport building.

Beijing's new terminal claims 300 check-in counters, 451 elevators and a system of luggage carriers able to move 20,000 bags per hour over 60 kilometers of track, at 7 meters per second.

Beijing's new terminal hosts 64 restaurants and 84 shops. Planners say it will accomadate 50 million passengers a year by 2020.

Why construct a US$4.6 billion airport terminal? For the Olympic Games!

T3's arrivals concourse in moonlight - Beijing's air traffic is growing 20 percent each year.

Night shift at T3 for a group of Beijing university students turned 2008 Olympic volunteers.

The terminal's biggest tenants: Air China, Oneworld and Star Alliance.

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