Historia de dos terminales

BEIJING – Desde que hace poco abriera sus puertas, la Terminal 5 del Aeropuerto Heathrow de Londres ha estado llena de problemas. En el otro extremo del planeta, la Terminal 3 de Beijing, que abrió para funcionar de lleno apenas un día antes que la Terminal 5, lo ha estado haciendo casi sin ningún inconveniente. Sin embargo, no es de sorprender que los medios de comunicación hayan abundado en los problemas de la T5 de Londres y, al mismo tiempo, hayan omitido hablar de los éxitos de la T3 de Beijing.

En todos los parámetros, la T3 de Beijing supera a la T5 de Londres. Mientras la T5 puede manejar apenas 12.000 maletas por hora (esto es, cuando logra hacerlo) y 30 millones de pasajeros al año, la T3 puede con 20.000 maletas por hora y 50 millones de pasajeros. Mientras la T5 prestará servicios principalmente a British Airways, la T3 lo hará para Air China y dos decenas de otras aerolíneas.

Con un millón de metros cuadrados, la T3 de Beijing es la terminal más grande del mundo, pero sus costes de construcción fueron muy inferiores a la T5 de Londres. Utilizando los tipos de cambio más recientes, la T3 costó sólo 3,86 mil millones de dólares comparada con los 8,6 mil millones de dólares de  la T5 de Londres. Más aún, para construir la T3 fueron necesarios menos de cuatro años, mientras que la T5 demoró casi 20 años.

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