Final approach to landing in T4

T4, which took fewer than three years to build, will have self-service facilities to ensure that Changi keeps up with industry trends.
T4, which took fewer than three years to build, will have self-service facilities to ensure that Changi keeps up with industry trends.PHOTO: CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP

Focus now on fitting out new Changi facility's interiors, testing systems before 2017 launch

Changi Airport's expansion plans are on track with the completion of the construction of Terminal 4.

Work will now move inside to get the systems and other fittings done so that the facility can open in the second half of next year.

Built to handle up to 16 million passengers a year, T4 as well as expansion work at T1 will increase Changi's total capacity to 85 million passengers.

In addition to the two-storey passenger terminal building, the development of T4 includes two multi-storey carparks providing 1,700 parking spaces and a two-storey taxi holding area.

There are also three vehicular and pedestrian bridges spanning Airport Boulevard to create new access to T4.

A 68m-high control tower has also been built to enhance air traffic controllers' management of aircraft movements in the apron and taxiways around the terminal.

Completed in under three years, the T4 project involved more than 4,000 workers at the peak of its construction. Changi Airport Group's executive vice-president for air hub development, Mr Yam Kum Weng, said: "We thank all our partners and contractors for their contributions towards the successful completion of the terminal's construction."

He noted the achievement of a "clean safety record of 26.1 million accident-free man-hours".

For the first time at Changi Airport, T4 will see a terminal-wide implementation of self-service initiatives. The preparatory work in the lead-up to the terminal's opening will involve the installation and testing of key airport systems and processes - including the self-service and automated options covering check-in, bag-drop, immigration clearance and boarding.

The International Air Transport Association, which represents airlines, has said automation is a key part of the industry's future.

In a presentation earlier this month, it noted that self-service check-in is already available at more than 200 airports for passengers of close to 130 airlines.

Almost one in two passengers has access to self-boarding by scanning his boarding card.

As part of the lead-up to T4's opening, there will be training and familiarisation for staff and partners as well as test flights.

Cathay Pacific and AirAsia have already confirmed that they will move to the new terminal, which will also house a few more airlines.

Since T4 will not be linked to the other three terminals via the Skytrain, buses will ferry passengers and visitors.

To meet future capacity needs, planning is in full swing for T5.

It will eventually be bigger than T1, T2 and T3 combined when it opens towards the end of the next decade.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2016, with the headline 'Final approach to landing in T4'. Print Edition | Subscribe