The much-awaited Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 4 will officially open on October 31, 2017. The new $985 million, two-storey T4 is the airport’s smallest terminal at just half the size of Terminal 3. Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, said, “After endless rounds of testing and fine-tuning, we are ready to open T4… Another big step forward in our journey as a global air hub.” Both full-service and low-cost carriers of nine airlines, including the AirAsia Group (which comprises four airlines), Cathay Pacific Airways, Cebu Pacific Air, Korean Air, Spring Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, will operate from the new terminal. Cathay Pacific and Korean Air will be the first two that would move on October 31, followed by Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines on November 2, and then, the AirAsia Group and Vietnam Airlines on November 7.
With a capacity of about 16 million passengers, T4 will bring the airport’s overall capacity to 82 million passengers a year. Automation is touted as one of T4’s major breakthroughs, especially the Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) system installed here. This system includes automated check-in kiosks for the retrieval of flight bookings as well as the printing of boarding passes and bag tags. Also, it features automated baggage drops, immigration clearance and boarding gates—all equipped with facial recognition technology, wherein passengers’ identities will be verified by matching their faces with their photos in passports. Besides the FAST system, the airport is introducing new technology in security, retail and housekeeping—sectors which employ 80 per cent of all Changi Airport staff.
The new terminal will also showcase elements of local heritage and culture, a mini theatre show in collaboration with composer Dick Lee, as well as designs inspired by the orchid. There is to be a Perakanan-themed heritage zone featuring a six-minute cultural show and a 70m by 5m wall showcasing Singapore’s skyline and Asean landmarks, as well as a whimsical animated clip on suitcases being screened before a flight. For the first time in Changi Airport, the liquor and tobacco zone in the transit area will be combined with the cosmetics and perfumes zone to make it easier for passengers to combine their duty-free purchases in a single transaction, the airport said.