A brand-new terminal is opening at the world’s best airport: Changi in Singapore.
Changi Airport Terminal 4 goes into operation on 31 October. Completed earlier in 2017, it’s since been tested to ensure all goes smoothly once passengers start using it at the end of next month. Now, preparations are into their final phase, with what Changi Airport Group describes as ‘a small number of checks and reviews’ left to complete.
Terminal 4 is Changi’s most compact so far – being only around 50 per cent the size of Terminal 3 - but it’s also its most hi-tech. The entire passenger-handling process – from entrance to departure – is 100 per cent automated. Self-service check-in, bag-drop, immigration and boarding systems all form part of its FAST (Fast and Seamless Travel) options, alongside ‘security screening, baggage-handling, flight information, ground transport, way-finding, and transfer processes etc.’
FAST Passenger Systems
“The past months have been a very crucial period for us as we conducted intensive tests and trials, not only to ensure that the systems work well, but also to understand how passengers navigate the new terminal, including interacting with initiatives such as FAST which may be less familiar to them”, comments Changi Airport Group’s Executive Vice President (Airport Management), Tan Lye Teck.
“We have identified areas of improvement following those trials. Feedback gathered from trial participants has also been very useful to CAG and our partners in fine-tuning our systems and processes. We will take the next few weeks to complete the last set of trials as we prepare for the commencement of operations at T4.”
Terminal 4 Operations
Nine airlines will operate from Terminal 4. These nine carriers – comprising the AirAsia Group’s four members, plus five other airlines – will be moved over to it in stages, to ensure minimal flight operations impact. Cathay Pacific Airways and Pacific Air shift across on 31 October itself, followed by Cebu Pacific Air and Spring Airlines (2 November) and, finally, AirAsia Group and Vietnam Airlines (7 November).
Cathay Pacific’s Flight CX659 will be the first Changi Terminal 4 arrival and Flight CX650 the first departure. Scheduled for 0540hrs and 0650hrs, respectively, they’ll originate and finish in Hong Kong.
Singapore Changi has topped Skytrax’ world airport rankings for five consecutive years and eight times in total this century. It currently handles 64 million passengers a year but, with Terminal 4 in place, will be able to accommodate 16 million more.
T4 images copyright/courtesy Changi Airport Group