China’s latest addition to Qingdao, a coastal city full of skyscrapers, parks and beaches, is the beautiful starfish-shaped airport. The destination is already renowned for being the headquarters of Tsingtao Brewery. But, with the completion of Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport, which is considered as an architectural marvel, the country is hoping for a major tourism boost.

According to the local media, the construction work of this starfish-shaped airport wrapped up on June 24; however, given the current pandemic situation, no official opening date has been announced yet.

About the project

The whole project took nearly five years and $5.8 billion to complete. This new aviation facility in Qingdao is built over 3066 ha, which is twice the size of Heathrow Airport in London. Another feather in its cap is that this is also the first 4F class airport in the city which means the facility is capable of accommodating the largest commercial aircrafts in the world such as A380s and Boeing 787s. The airport is also being called the Sponge Airport as it is designed to absorb and store excess rainwater. The stored water can be recycled and reused later.

Last year, a starfish-shaped airport was inaugurated in Beijing known as the Daxing International Airport. There are some major similarities between the Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport and the one in Beijing. Besides being starfish shaped, both the airports offer five connected concourses, which cuts off the walking distances between the main check-in and the farthest gates.

Another common factor between the two airports is that both emphasis on green water treatment systems.


Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport is nearly 39 km from Qingdao’s city center and it will replace the old Qingdao Liuting International Airport. The airport is supposed to increase the province’s air traffic capacity.

It is being expected that by the year 2025, the two runways here will take care of as many as 35 million passengers and 500000 metric tons of cargo. As per local news, in the second phase, there will be two more runways to boost the capacity of the airport to 60 million passengers.

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