Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2017 Contents 50 AsianAviation | October 2017
SITTING AT THE FORMER SITE of the budget terminal at Sin-
gapore's famed Changi Airport, Terminal 4 (T4) broke ground on
November 2013. The S$985 million (US$728 million) project took a
little over three years to build and construction was formally com-
pleted in December 2016. With a gross floor area of 225,000 square
metres, T4 is the smallest among the terminals in service at Changi
airport at two storeys tall or about 25 metres in height.
The architects and design firms moved all columns and pillars to
the sides of the departure hall to create a sense of space and a key
feature is the Central Galleria, a 300-metre-long by 18-metre-wide
and 23-metre-high space that separates the land side and transit
area. The visually transparent concept provides a clear view from
the check-in hall through the transit area and arrival hall.
Natural light, landscaping and greenery is a recurring theme with
plenty of skylights and horticulture to capture's Singapore "garden
city" identity. Terminal 4 has one of the highest densities of plants in
Changi Airport, with 582,000 plants, including 160 ficus trees in the
boarding corridor, named Boulevard of Trees, which was inspired by
Paris' Champs-Elysées. One of the architectural firms, Benoy Group,
is also currently working on Changi's Project Jewel, which will be a
centrepiece of the airport.
The design theme of T4 aims to be fun, vibrant and positive with
a boutique feel, drawing inspiration from the petals of the orchid, a
flower that is synonymous with Singapore.
Changi Airport Group has also combined perfume, cosmetics, liq-
uor and tobacco products into a single duty free zone. "Passengers
will be able to pick their products of desire and continue to shop in
close proximity, and pay at a single counter," said Poh Li Shan, the
airport group's vice president at the T4 programme management
o ice. In all, T4 will have 17 retail and food tenants at the landside
and 45 at the transit area.
The smaller terminal makes wayfinding in Terminal 4 easier, upon
clearing security and immigration at the southern end of the com-
plex, passengers will only be required to move in a single direction
to their gates without the need to turn in di erent directions as is
the case in the older and larger terminals.
Situated two kilometres away from Terminal 2, one challenge is
to ensure connectivity for passengers from T4 to the rest of Changi.
Due to aircraft crossings and underground utility pipes, it was
deemed impractical to construct a light rail system over or under
these facilities. Changi settled for a 24-hour shuttle bus service
between Terminals 2 and 4, which will arrive and depart at inter-
vals of no more than 10 minutes. " There is a study on the trends
of transfers and how to scale up these bus services to Terminal 1
and 3 as well," said Poh, adding that connectivity to Terminal 5 will
be studied at a later date.
T4 is the first terminal to employ a fully automated departure
process, integrated facial recognition and end-to-end Fast and
Seamless Travel (FAST) self-service technology. The FAST concept
is already in operation in selected locations in the older terminals
although self-service facilities are only limited to check-in and bag
drop. Over half of the departure hall has self-check-in facilities with
65 SITA check-in kiosks and 50 ICM automated bag drop machines.
"We want to future-proof the terminal, when we started we ex-
pected 30-50 percent of passengers using self-service counters,
but in the long run it will proliferate and these conventional check-in
counters can be removed to create more flexibility for us and the
airlines," said Poh. These self-service kiosks also reduce the airlines'
requirements for ground support sta .
The terminal will be the first to employ dual facial and thumbprint
biometric recognition in the Automated Immigration Gate (AIG).
Eighteen gates at the departure hall are limited to Singaporeans,
Permanent Residents and pre-registered passengers such as those
with employment visas. The first facial recognition photo token is
taken at the gate to match against the passport and the same token
will be used later at the boarding gate.
" T4 will be our technology and innovation testbed, so when we
start the design process of the new Terminal 5, we will be confident it
will work," said Poh. "As Terminal 5 is much bigger, we cannot a ord
to try out new concepts only to find out they do not work."
AAV contributor Chen Chuanren tours
Changi Airport Group's new Terminal 4 and
explains how it uses innovation and design
to ready itself for future travellers.
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