Lifestyle / Travel

Singapore unveils highly-automated Changi Airport Terminal 4

Designed to keep travellers’ stress at bay, the new terminal incorporates both art and automation for a boarding experience unlike any other.

Jul 27, 2017 | By Pameyla Cambe

The façade of the new Terminal 4. Image courtesy Changi Airport Group.

The wait for the solution to all your travelling woes is now over as Singapore’s Changi Airport finally opens the doors to its new, highly-anticipated terminal. Priding itself to be where culture, design and technology converge, Terminal 4 is the latest and most ambitious development from Changi Airport, and it’s a good example of how the airport has maintained its title of world’s best airport for five consecutive years.

Terminal 4 boasts a space of 225,000 sqm across two floors. As a nod to the country’s heritage, the interior design takes inspiration from Singapore’s national flower — the orchid. Visitors can expect to be greeted by large petal-shaped ceiling skylights that will fill the Departure Check-in Hall with as much natural daylight as possible. Occasionally referred to as the garden city, it is only natural that the Singapore airport features a Boulevard of Trees that line its 800-metre boarding corridor with 160 ficus tree and other plant varieties, adding to the welcoming atmosphere.

Despite the nature-inspired elements that permeate the space, what really sets Terminal 4 apart from other airports is the highly-advanced technology embedded within it. The new terminal is big on automation, and it is incorporated with a Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) system that will make every stage of departure a breeze for those who prefer to do things themselves.

The new terminal has 65 automated check-in kiosks and 50 automated bag drop machines. Image courtesy Changi Airport Group.

Passengers can easily check in to one of the 65 automated kiosks where they will receive their boarding passes and baggage tags. They can then proceed to one of the automated baggage drop-off machines that are cleverly equipped with facial recognition technology to match the baggage that’s being dropped off with its owner. As a bonus, Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents get to skip the hassle of the immigration process by going through the automated immigration gate instead.

While the FAST system would reduce passengers’ interactions with airline and airport staff significantly, several art installations have been put up within Terminal 4 to keep them stress-free. One of these includes the “Petalclouds” at the Central Galleria, a cluster of giant kinetic structures suspended from the ceiling that mimics the movements of floating clouds, accompanied by a soothing, original composition of classical music. Passengers will also get to marvel at the giant bird sculptures at the Arrival and Departure Halls, which will be illuminated in the evenings for an inspirational night scene.

The Immersive Wall. Image courtesy Changi Airport Group.

For a technological edge, Terminal 4 also boasts a 70-metre long stretch of LED displays known as the Immersive Wall, through which stunning visuals and 17 different stories will be showcased to make for a great distraction from travel worries.

Terminal 4 has undeniably raised the bars and changed the game in terms of the travelling experience, but Changi Airport is already pursuing even more ambitious projects. Set to open in 2019, the planned mixed-use terminal complex, Jewel Changi Airport, promises even greater feats such as the world’s tallest waterfall, a five-storey indoor rainforest, and a mirrored labyrinth, among other things.

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