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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 13:29 GMT
In pictures: Beijing's new air terminal

A view of the entrance to the new third terminal at Beijing airport

Beijing authorities have shown reporters around the new third terminal at the city's airport. It will help cater for the tide of visitors drawn by the Olympics and opens officially on Friday.

Another view of the entrance to the new third terminal at Beijing airport

Designed by the British architect Norman Foster, the terminal echoes elements of traditional Chinese architecture, with imperial red pillars and a pale golden roof.

Outside of the new Beijing Airport terminal building

The architects say it's the largest building in the world - bigger than all the terminals at Heathrow Airport in London put together.

Interior shot of the new third terminal at Beijing airport

Inside, the airport offers 64 restaurants, 84 shops and a baggage handling system said to be state-of-the-art. In all, its footprint covers 1.3m sq m (14m sq ft).

A security guard inside Beijing airport's new terminal building

The new airport is served by a high-speed commuter train, new runway and a new motorway.

Staff members walking through the new Beijing terminal building

It will cater not only for the flood of Olympics visitors but also for passenger numbers that have boomed along with the Chinese economy.

Pilot at the new third terminal at Beijing airport

Officials say the volume of passengers using Beijing airport has grown dramatically - from 20 million in 2000 to 50 million last year. It is expected to reach 64 million in 2008.

A labourer in front of the new Beijing airport building

Three villages and thousands of villagers had to be moved to accommodate the terminal, and yet it still took less than four years to build.

A look around Beijing's new airport terminal

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