Wednesday 28 September 2022

Singapore's Changi Airport is going to get a lot bigger

Singapore's Changi Airport has long been considered a destination in itself, so much more than just a generic space one passes through to hop on a plane and fly somewhere else.
For ten years, it went undefeated in the annual Skytrax 'World's Best Airports" awards, losing its crown to Qatar's Hamad International Airport in 2021. In 2022, it finished in third place on the list, falling behind repeat winner Hamad International and Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
Now, as travelers return to the city-state and its much-hyped airport following the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions earlier this year, Singapore officials are focused on the future -- and that includes expansion.

Details have recently been revealed for a 5th Terminal, with officials promising a space that is a social extension of Singapore rather than just another piece of transport infrastructure.

During a National Day Rally in late July, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that T5 will add capacity for about 50 million passengers per year. That's a big number considering its four current passenger terminals are able to handle about 82 million passengers a year. Pointing to a map while making his address, he noted that the T5 will be as big as all four present terminals put together.

"We are building another new Changi Airport," he said. "It is huge."

Construction of T5 will kick off in about two years, with the facility expected to open to travelers in the mid-2030s. Located within the 1,080-hectare Changi East development, it will have a three-runway system and will be linked to the other four terminals.

My family and I were in Singapore last week and spent 6 hours at the terminal wondering around. 
After checking in our luggage at terminal 1, we walked across the road to the Jewel Terminal.
As soon as you walk into the terminal you can't help but see the Rain Vortex, which sits at 7 storeys high and surrounded by a terraced forest setting.
Walking around the Jewel you can't help but think you are in a multi storery shopping centre, as it spans
10 storeys – five above-ground and five underground.
Jewel includes gardens, attractions, a hotel, about 300 retail and dining outlets, as well as early baggage check-in aviation facilities. 

Main things to do and see in the Jewel are
  • Bouncing Net
  • Canopy Bridge
  • Canopy Park
  • Hedge Maze
  • Mirror Maze
  • Rain Vortex
  • Walking Net

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