Easily one of the world’s most awarded airports, Singapore Changi Airport welcomed its Terminal 4 (T4) last year, on the site of what used to be the budget terminal. However, the spanking new terminal building now houses the Singapore operations of Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines among many others. In terms of square footage, the terminal impresses with its vast sprawl of 2,25,000 sqm, and a projected capacity of about 16 million passengers annually. This number adds to the overall airports passenger capacity, taking it up to 82 million passengers annually. The smart design of the airport has been done keeping in mind passenger comfort, with an aim to provide as much of a seamless experience as possible. The idea is to provide a premium experience to airport users, regardless of the airline. That way, passengers using low-cost carriers, can still enjoy the perks of a full-service airport terminal. A case in point is its impressive variety of retail and dining outlets, which range from Moleskine, Lacoste, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Mont Blanc and local tea experts TWG, among many others. All the modern facilities not withstanding, there is a beautiful nod to Singapore’s heritage in the form of the a recreated line of Singaporean façades, shophouses in the Peranakan style, replete with furniture, art and interior design.
When the airport opened, it made the news for its automated facilities, where passengers could enjoy a seamless “human-free” experience, thanks to self-service kiosks at check-in, printing boarding passes and even unmanned boarding points (within certain limitations, of course). This has come as a welcome change for airlines, who want their passengers to enjoy enhanced airport experiences, as opposed to spending time in long queues. Maggie Yeung, Cathay Pacific’s Regional General Manager, Southeast Asia says, “Changi Airport has always been known for pioneering innovation and T4 is a very good example of this. Operating from this terminal in Singapore helps us to improve the passenger’s travel experience. Our customers are able to check-in and drop off their bags, clear immigration and board their flights using fully automated systems. This results in less queuing, giving passengers greater control over how they spend their time. For our First and Business Class passengers and eligible Marco Polo Club members, this means more time to relax in our lounge, prior to their flights.”
While Changi Airport’s T4 is all about smart and seamless experiences for its passengers, the people that work here too can enjoy certain innovations. Take, for instance, the newly introduced “smart bins” within the terminal. These bins notify the housekeeping staff when they are full, which means that the bins can be emptied on-demand and cleaners will have to attend to them only when required, thereby maximising efficiency.
Linda Tan, senior associate with Changi Airport Group’s Facilities Management team says, “These smart bins improve the cleaner’s productivity and efficiency, as they do not need to walk around the large terminal to check on bins at fixed times. This frees up their time to do other tasks. With these smart bins, we only need to roster four to six cleaners per shift to clear the bins in T4. The rest of the cleaners can be redeployed to other areas of the terminal, thereby increasing our productivity.”
As things stand, T4 is one of the most technologically advanced passenger terminals in the world, and the most passenger-friendly. As more airlines gear for the shift to the new terminal, the management will, hopefully, continue to delight passengers with new innovations. changiairport.com