Beijing Airport was opened on March 2, 1958. The airport then consisted of one small terminal building, which still stands to this day, apparently for the use of VIPs and charter flights. On January 1, 1980, a newer, larger building – green in colour – opened, with docks for 10 to 12 aircraft. The terminal was larger than the one in the 1950s, but by the mid-1990s, it was too small. The terminal was then closed for renovation after the opening of Terminal 2.
In late 1999, to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the airport was expanded again. This new terminal opened on November 1, and was named Terminal 2. September 20, 2004, saw the opening of a new Terminal 1 for a few airlines, including China Southern Airlines' domestic and international flights from Beijing. Other airlines' domestic and international flights still operate in Terminal 2.
A third runway of BCIA opened on October 29, 2007, to relieve congestion on the other two runways.
Another expansion, Terminal 3 (T3) was completed in February 2008, in time for the Beijing Olympics. This colossal expansion includes a third runway and another terminal for Beijing airport, and a rail link to the city-center. At its opening, It was the largest man made structure in the world in terms of area covered, and a major landmark in Beijing representing the growing and developing Chinese city. The expansion was largely funded by a 30 billion yen loan from Japan and 500-million-euro (USD 625 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan is the largest ever granted by the EIB in Asia; the agreement was signed during the eighth China-EU Summit held in September 2005.