- The Washington Times - Friday, November 29, 2013

There’s just one problem with China’s newly minted, super-sized $1 billion high-tech airport, equipped with all the latest environmentally friendly features — nobody wants to use it.

Terminal 3 at the Shenzhen International Airport, five years in the making, was opened with fanfare on Thursday, hailed as a true wonder of Chinese development and a serious notch in the country’s hope to become a global player in the travel market. But, as The Independent reported, the 4.3 million square-foot terminal doesn’t actually provide services to some of the world’s biggest draws, including Sydney, Dubai and Cologne. Rather, it flies mostly local.

At the same time, advertisement flyers for the airport tout travel to those cities, The Independent reported.

The port, designed by a Rome-based company and capable of handling 45 million passengers each year, looks like a perforated honeycomb, The Independent reported. It’s designed to allow in as much sunlight as possible to reduce energy consumption. And it also includes other environmentally friendly features, like recycled toilet water and white “trees” that are actually air conditioning vents, and is the first terminal in the country to have its own solar power plant.

But flights may be a problem.

The Independent reported that travelers can for the most part only travel from the port to regional areas such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore — a somewhat misleading reality, given the port advertisements and the port’s “International” name.

Alaska is the lone United States destination, and those flights are for UPS and Federal Express cargo only, The Independent reported. The one flight to Europe is to Helsinki.

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