Trial closure of Changi Airport's T1 carpark begins

(Above) Motorists being redirected to Carpark 2B at T2 yesterday as the trial to test new parking arrangements ahead of the closure of T1's open-air carpark began. The T1 carpark will remain closed till next Tuesday (left).
(Above) Motorists being redirected to Carpark 2B at T2 yesterday as the trial to test new parking arrangements ahead of the closure of T1's open-air carpark began. The T1 carpark will remain closed till next Tuesday (left).ST PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN
(Above) Motorists being redirected to Carpark 2B at T2 yesterday as the trial to test new parking arrangements ahead of the closure of T1's open-air carpark began. The T1 carpark will remain closed till next Tuesday (left).
(Above) Motorists being redirected to Carpark 2B at T2 yesterday as the trial to test new parking arrangements ahead of the closure of T1's open-air carpark began. The T1 carpark will remain closed till next Tuesday (left).ST PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN

Alternative carpark at T2 easy to find but some don't know way back to T1

A dry run to direct motorists headed for Changi Airport Terminal 1 (T1) to new parking arrangements went well overall yesterday morning, according to a check by The Straits Times.

This was to test the new arrangements ahead of the upcoming closure of the open-air carpark at T1, which will make way for retail development Project Jewel in the fourth quarter of this year.

Under the trial, the T1 carpark was closed yesterday and will remain so till 2am next Tuesday.

After dropping passengers off at T1's departure level, drivers will have to make a slight detour, including a U-turn, to get to Terminal 2's (T2) Carpark 2B, which will be renamed the T1 Car Park.

Drivers headed to T1 yesterday had no trouble finding their way to the alternative carpark in T2, when The Straits Times checked during the off-peak hours of 10am to 1pm yesterday.

But some were confused about how to get back to T1 after they had parked in the T2 carpark.

Mr Chua Yat Chuan, 60, said it took him 15 minutes to figure his way back to T1, asking no fewer than five people for help.

"Following the road signs here was easy but I think there should be more signs within the T2 carpark to tell drivers where to go next," said Mr Chua, who is self-employed.

Along the roads towards T1 and T2 are orange road signs and lane markings which redirect drivers to the T2 carpark, with marshals stationed at both terminals to direct drivers.

However, there were hardly any signs in the T2 carpark to tell visitors how to get to T1.

Like Mr Chua, several drivers were seen looking lost before heading to a mobile information kiosk.

To get from T2 to T1, airport visitors can take the Skytrain or a free shuttle bus, which runs every five minutes. The bus trip takes about seven minutes.

The bus picks passengers up from the T2 departure hall, beside the Krispy Kreme store, and drops them outside the T1 arrival hall.

The closure of the T1 carpark, which has 850 spaces, has sparked concerns about a parking crunch.

The Changi Airport Group (CAG) had said earlier it is adding 400 spaces in the T2 carparks and a new open-air carpark next to the JetQuay Terminal, which opened on Tuesday.

But this means a shortfall in spaces until Project Jewel, which will have a carpark with 2,500 spaces, is ready in 2018.

CAG had said earlier that spaces at the two carparks at T2 are expected to be adequate. However, following the actual closure of the T1 carpark, a free valet service will be introduced during peak hours on weekends and public holidays at the new T1 carpark.

Meanwhile, T2 users can continue to use a second carpark, Carpark 2A, at the opposite end of the terminal.

CAG said yesterday that 50 staff will be involved in the four-day trial.

It had said earlier that the trial would allow it to assess the effectiveness of its proposed measures, and enhance them where necessary, before the actual closure.

Some regular T2 users were still concerned about a parking crunch. Trader Tony Tan, 53, said: "My only worry is that I won't be able to get a parking space during the peak hours. It will be a headache especially if I am rushing for a flight."

samboh@sph.com.sg