Kunming Changshui International Airport

  • Fourth largest airport in China with capacity of 38 million passengers per annum
  • Featuring an innovative 'ribbon' steel structure
  • Performance-based fire engineering design to ensure safety, cost-effectiveness and maintain aesthetic requirements
  • Awarded the prestigious Tien-yow Jeme Civil Engineering Prize in 2014

Opened in June 2012, Kunming Changshui International Airport is a multi-modal transportation hub that links the region via air, rail and highway, reinvigorating Kunming's ancient role as a gateway between China and the world.

Arup won the masterplanning competition in 2006 for this new greenfield airport and was subsequently commissioned to provide preliminary engineering design services.

An iconic gateway

Being the fourth largest in China, the airport has two parallel runways and a 548,300m² terminal building with a 167,000m² carpark, capable of handling up to 38 million passengers per year. At a later development stage, the airport can be expanded to handle up to 60 million passengers per year.

The terminal design integrates the topography of the site with transportation strategy, efficient land and airside operations. Additionally, the airport’s unique architectural form – the seven steel ribbons meaning 'colourful Yunnan' – is intended to reflect the cultural richness of Yunnan Province.

Performance-base fire engineering

Arup also developed a performance-based fire engineering design strategy for the iconic hub. Fire separation belts compartmentalise the structure and semi-safety zones prevent the fire from spreading.

Fire rating analysis was conducted for the 'ribbon' level of steel superstructure systems, which ensures that the steel will be reliable for two hours under fire duress. This gave significant savings in the cost of fire protection while at the same time achieving the client's aesthetic requirements.

The airport marks a new focus on South West China and has been recognized internationally for setting new standards of sustainability, efficiency and safety. It has been awarded the Tien-yow Jeme Award, the top honour for civil engineering and construction organised by the China Civil Engineering Society.

Share:

30 years in China badge
  • Exterior view of Kunming Changshui International Airport (c)Zhou Ruogu Architecture PhotographyOpen gallery

    The airport features an innovative 'ribbon' steel structure.

  • Interior view of Kunming Changshui International Airport with passengers walking around (c)Zhou Ruogu Architecture PhotographyOpen gallery

    Arup also developed a performance-based fire engineering design strategy for the iconic hub.