Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 has just opened, with the first flights taking off from the hub to much fanfare yesterday.
It’s got cutting-edge technology, facial scanning, computerized baggage drop points, LED walls and the capacity to process 16 million passengers a year. But really, they had us at cocktail samples.
Cathay Pacific and Korean Air are the first two airlines to operate out of the terminal, with other airlines including Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, Spring Airlines and Vietnam Airlines set to join them over the coming week.
— Changi Airport (@ChangiAirport) October 31, 2017
Given the Singapore Airport has been named the best airport in the world for the past five years running, its latest state-of-the-art terminal is tipped to set the standard for airports around the world.
So, what can travellers expect when they pass through the new terminal?
Fast track to flights
New FAST (Fast and Seamless Travel) technology, including facial recognition software, is said to redefine the passenger experience and aims to enhance operational efficiency and raise productivity. It enables passengers to check in at their own convenience, without having to wait for counters to open, and board without having to talk to airport staff.
It’s all automated from check-in to boarding
From the moment passengers check in, self-service, automated and human-less technology will be used throughout T4. The only airport staff that passengers will encounter will be during security screenings.
T4 will deploy facial recognition technology at various stations to ensure it is the same person going through the different processes.
Cafes and cocktails
If you love food, it’s almost impossible not to love Singapore -and it’s airport. Apart from souvenirs, chocolate shops, cafes, lounges, and cocktails, traditional street food is part of the new Singapore airport experience.
A taste of heritage
One of the main attractions at T4 is the Heritage Zone, with its facades of old Singapore shop houses, as well as the row of food and beverage outlets exuding nostalgia through their local delights and old-school furnishings. They serve traditional breakfast and snack items such as kaya toast, mee siam and kopi, along with roti prata from a “live” prata station, where the popular Indian pancake is prepared by a chef right before their eyes.
The Peranakan Gallery, a collaboration between Changi Airport Group and Singapore’s National Heritage Board, aims to give passengers a heritage experience as they transit through the country. It features a doll house model display of Peranakan shophouse architecture, historical portraits of pioneers, Peranakan fashion and style and a recreation of the interior of a Peranakan home.
Art that moves
At the heart of T4 is a grand-scale kinetic sculpture, Petalclouds, spanning 200m of the Central Galleria. Visible from almost everywhere in the terminal, the sculpture moves gracefully to classical music specially composed by BAFTA award-winning composer, Olafur Arnalds. Several other static sculptures are also on display throughout the terminal.
Loads of green
With skylights and glass walls allowing natural light in, T4 provides a naturally ambient daytime experience for passengers, while simulating a natural environment of plants and trees. The terminal’s landscaping covers 2000sq m and is home to 186 large trees. Along the boarding corridor, 160 ficus trees form a boulevard of trees, separating the boarding area from the common area at the departure gates.
Getting to T4 from T2
Complimentary 24-hour Airport Shuttle Bus service between T4 and T2. Pick up at T2 Arrival Hall door 1. Drop off at T4 Departure between doors 3 and 4. Journey takes about 10 minutes.