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Mumbai's Snazzy New Airport Terminal

After countless delays and cost overruns, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport finally opened its new terminal. The four-story "T2" was scheduled to open in 2010. It was inaugurated today by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

Unimpressed with initial renderings for the expansion in 2007, airport Managing Director Sanjay Reddy brought architects from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill on a 15-day tour of the country for inspiration. The tours were given by a local art curator and a fashion designer.

The result is a 4.4 million square foot, $2 billion terminal inspired by a "dancing peacock." Its nearly two miles of its walls are decorated with thousands of artifacts and artworks. 

Chhatrapati Shivaji's newest terminal will handle 40 million passengers a year. Though it was built to relieve overcrowding, that'll likely still be a problem. As the Economic Times points out, Changi Airport's Terminal 3 in Singapore takes up 3.8 million square feet of space and 20 million passengers a year while Heathrow's Terminal 5 in London is 4.1 million square feet, handling 26 million passengers annually.

Before the crowds rush in, here's a look at Mumbai's snazzy, new travel digs:

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) lights a traditional Indian oil lamp during the inauguration ceremony of the newly constructed Terminal 2, January 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) 


Workers clean a wall of the new airport terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


Workers put final touches on glass walls at the new airport terminal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


Workers are silhouetted at the new airport terminal. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


Security guards stand inside the new airport terminal. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


A worker walks inside the new airport terminal in Mumbai. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


A worker walks inside the new terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


Workers put final touches at the parking zone of the new airport terminal, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)


A worker walks near paintings of Bollywood stars displayed on the wall of the new airport terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly said the construction cost of the terminal was $2 million. It also incorrectly stated that Changi airport is located Shanghai.  

Keywords: Mumbai, Airports, India

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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