Chengdu is known as one of the starting points of the Ancient Southern Silk Road. It still stands as the centre of logistics, business, commerce, finance, science, technology, transportation and communication in the Western Region of China.

The city is currently served by the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, the 5th busiest airport in China handling 38 million passengers in 2014. With its decision to speed up the development in the western region of China, the Central Government paved the way for the Sichuan Province Government to develop a second airport in Chengdu.

Arup Associates began work on the Competition at the beginning of 2015 following a site selection study. The local government decided to build the new $11bn airport near the town Lujia around 50km south east of the city centre of Chengdu.

In the first development stage the airport will have a capacity for 45 million passengers per year with three runways. The airport is designed for Code F aircrafts and will provide, in its ultimate development stage the capacity to handle 90 million passengers per year with six runways.


International Terminal Area Master Planning & Terminal Design Scheme Competition

Arup Associates in London and Shanghai undertook the primary architectural design of the terminals. Aviation planning, SMEP and sustainability design was provided by Arup teams based in Hong Kong and Beijing. In addition Arup teams based in Toronto, London, Warsaw and Hong Kong provided a detailed simulation of the design to validate its operation. We brought together key industry experts from across the Arup network and teamed up with Chinese Construction and Railway Company China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group (CREEC) and Shanghai based New Era Airport Design and Research Institute.

Our approach for the terminal buildings was to find simple geometric forms that allow passengers to easily orientate themselves and to find their destinations. The harmonic arrangement of the four terminal buildings aligned along the landside transport corridor provides central access points to all modes of transportation.

Our terminal concept followed the principles of passenger convenience and comfort. The layout limited the number of level changes for passengers. For example, the fixed link bridges have ramps instead of escalators which makes the buildings easily accessible for all passengers.



The Ground Transportation Centre (GTC) was located next to the terminals which provided very short walking distances (without the need to cross the departure and arrival kerbs). Retail hubs in the centre of the terminals would provide world class shopping and dining experiences.

Our design follows Green Building principles together with an approach towards easy buildability and building maintenance.

We were shortlisted out of seven contenders in this competition.Arup’s design was well received and got excellent feedback from all parties including judging panel, invited guests and observers form the local authorities and the airport. Our competition entry was awarded the second place.