Singapore’s Changi Airport has been voted as the best airport in the world year after year and, having lived in Singapore and flown regularly, I couldn’t agree more. Now, the new Terminal 4, replacing the former budget terminal, has been unveiled and is expected to start operations later this year. It’s the first fully automated airport, allowing you to go from curb to plane without requiring any staff assistance!
Terminal 4 (label 07, bottom left of layout) is only half the size of Terminal 3 (label 06), but is much more modern and will be able to serve 2/3 the number of the passengers of T3, giving T4 a capacity of 16 million passengers. Compared to the previous budget terminal, it will offer a full range of services comparable to the other terminals, including a stunning design, beautiful art work, lots of retail and restaurants, as well as lounges.
The new Terminal 4 will serve Cathay Pacific (OneWorld), Korean and Vietnam Air (SkyTeam), as well as the low-cost carriers AirAsia and CebuPacific and Spring Airlines. I’m excited about CebuPac at T4, as it’ll give me a chance to try it out soon from Manila!
You’ll arrive to a green wall, before heading to the departure hall. There will be self-check-in machines standardized for all airlines that will allow you to get your luggage tag and boarding pass. The machine will take a short video to allow for biometric images used for the security and boarding process. You’ll drop off your luggage where the system will check the size and weight of your luggage against your airline limitations and send it on its way.
Immigration will also be automated. This has been offered for Singapore citizens and residents in the past at all terminals and will now be available for visitors after taking biometrics on arrival. This will make Changi even more efficient than before – I love it!
Security, in a change from the other terminals, will be done centrally, not at the gates. There will be new full-body scanners, as well as 3D luggage scanners, so you don’t have to take out your laptop any longer. The TSA in the USA might want to check this out – I consider this real security improvements, rather than the “security theatre” they have opted to implement!
Of course, like at the other terminals, there will be plenty of duty free shopping, think of this as a mall where you can board a plane! Compared to the other terminals, there shopping here will be themed with the look of historic shophouses you find in the old quarters of Singapore, a nice touch!
To relax before boarding, there will be a Cathay Pacific lounge as well as a contract lounge operated by SATS and Plaza Premium – both of which participate in PriorityPass, so I’m hopeful that PriorityPass members will have access here, too!
This is a beautiful and functional addition to Changi Airport and I’m excited to try it out soon.
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