Singapore’s Changi Airport fully reopens Terminal 2 following dramatic makeover

Singapore’s Changi Airport
Changi T2's new 'Wonderfall" features 892 flat and flexi-curved tiles. Changi Airport

Terminal 2 of Changi Airport in Singapore has reopened in its entirety after an extensive 3.5-year construction project.

And it should come as no surprise that this was no typical makeover, considering that it was chosen as the greatest airport in the world at the 2023 Skytrax Airport Awards.

The original terminal building has had about 21,000 square meters (226,000 square feet) added to it. This adds more systems, more infrastructure, and more options for dining and retail.

The updated T2’s design is centered around nature, and a 14-meter-tall digital waterfall display is one of its main features. In the departure hall, “The Wonderfall,” which tumbles over enormous stones, is surrounded by a vertical garden.

In keeping with the natural theme, visitors can explore the brand-new Dreamscape garden in the departure transit area. It has a variety of flora that are all brought to life by a “digital sky” that changes color based on the time of day.

In the meantime, lovers of retro travel will want to see Flap Pix, an artwork that draws influence from the traditional mechanical split-flap flight information boards that were previously common in airports. Changi claims that 1,080 split flaps were recycled to make it.

According to a statement from Lye Teck, Changi Airport Group’s program director for the Terminal 2 expansion project, “with T2, we sought to enhance the passenger experience, bringing together a modern terminal inspired by nature, with immersive digital experiences, innovative technology, as well as transformative retail and dining concepts that create a sense of place.”

The T2 expansion project, which began in January 2020, increases Changi’s passenger capacity by 5 million, boosting its total handling capacity to 95 million people annually, according to an announcement made by the airport.

From the terminal, sixteen airlines connect Singapore to forty cities.

Why is the ‘best’ airport so fantastic?

After topping Skytrax’s list of the finest airports for eight years running, Singapore Changi Airport slid a few points in 2021 and 2022 due to a decline in passengers during the pandemic. In its place, Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, took the top spot. During the announcement of this year’s awards in March, Changi reclaimed the top spot.

Since its initial opening in 1981, when it took the place of the Paya Lebar airport with a single runway, it has advanced significantly.

In response to the growing number of passengers, work on Terminal 2 had already started by 1986, and the new facility was set to open to travelers in 1991.

However, what truly made people throughout the world take note were some previously unheard-of features.

For example, in 1995 Changi Airport constructed the first-ever transit-area swimming pool, which set off a chain of improvements that would further isolate Changi from other airports across the globe.

Among these were the 1998 additions of a sports arena, a movie theater, and a news hub.

2008 saw the addition of Changi Airport Terminal 3, which presently houses a butterfly garden and a 12-meter-tall gigantic slide. After that, Terminal 4 opened in 2017.

Next on the list is Changi Jewel, which debuted in 2019 and gives residents who don’t have any travel plans an excuse to visit the airport.

Connecting three of Changi Airport’s four terminals, the 135,700-square-meter multipurpose facility has a striking doughnut-shaped facade wrapped in steel and glass.

The main draw here is the 40-meter-tall HSBC Rain Vortex, which is said to be the highest indoor waterfall in the world. It flows through a massive oculus in the center of the building.

Surrounding the Vortex waterfall is a four-story garden with walking trails, Shiseido Forest Valley, and an eleven-screen IMAX theater.

What will happen to the well-known airport now? According to officials, Changi will implement automated immigration clearance in 2024, enabling travelers to leave the city-state utilizing only biometric information and no passports.

Officials at the airport have already disclosed the designs for Terminal 5, which is anticipated to welcome passengers in the middle of the 1930s.

Credits: CNN

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