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Big changes at Singapore’s Changi Airport
The hub’s Budget Terminal closes later this month. Plus, what's inside the new and improved Terminal 1
With Singapore Changi Airport’s Budget Terminal (BT) closing later this month, officials have souped up Terminal 2 to cope with the flood of extra passengers.
BT will close its gates on September 25, which means the following airlines will move operations to Terminal 2 from 2 a.m. on that day: Berjaya Air, Cebu Pacific, Firefly, Mandala Airlines, South East Asian Airlines and Tiger Airways.
Changi officials say the closure of BT means Terminal 2 will have to manage some 790 weekly flights. But, the extra passengers shouldn't be an issue as Terminal 2 is able to handle up to 23 million passenger movements a year, and only managed about 13 million in the last year, while BT hosted about 5 million passengers.
Still, passengers are being encouraged to arrive early for their flights during the initial days following the move to Terminal 2, given the likely "teething" issues.
Changi is also carrying out a series of upgrades to prepare for the bigger load.
Among these, departure and arrival areas will have an increased number of automated immigration gates, while the taxi waiting area in the Arrival Hall will be expanded and additional taxi bays will built.
For the latest flight information, passengers should check www.changiairport.com.
Construction set to begin on Terminal 4
The BT terminal will be demolished to make way for Terminal 4, which will have a capacity of 16 million passengers per year.
"Unlike the present Budget Terminal, Terminal 4 will have a wide choice of retail and food and beverage offerings as well as passenger amenities that will better serve the needs of travelers," say Changi officials.
Construction of Terminal 4 will begin in 2013 and the new terminal is expected to be ready by 2017.
A new look for Terminal 1
Passengers going through Terminal 1 will notice some fancy new changes that were unveiled in July, from a new arrival immigration facade to premier toilets that offer views of the runways.
After four years' renovation and S$500 million (US$400 million), the interior of Changi’s oldest terminal now has a completely refurbished interior and new layout that was designed to improve passenger flow.
About 22,000 square meters were also added to the building, bringing the total floor space to 308,000 square meters. Retail and food and beverage offerings have been expanded too.
Also upping Terminal 1's cool credentials is the installation of the world’s largest kinetic art sculpture in the revamped departure check-in hall. Called "Kinetic Rain," it's made up of 1,216 bronze droplets.
Looks like somebody is gunning hard for next year's "World Airport Awards" after coming in a disappointing second in 2012.
Have you flown through Singapore's Changi Airport lately? Share your experiences below.