SINGAPORE - Changi Airport Terminal 4 is good to go, with a full-dress rehearsal, including a fire evacuation exercise, conducted on Tuesday (Oct 24).
The terminal will open in a week, on Oct 31, with first flights to be operated by Cathay Pacific. T4 will house nine airlines, including the AirAsia group's four carriers.
To date, about 150 trials, involving close to 10,000 volunteers and airport staff, have been carried out, to test different systems and processes.
The extensive testing is necessary, given that T4 will feature several firsts, said Changi Airport Group (CAG).
For example, unlike the other three terminals, T4 offers travellers a start-to-end automated process, from check-in to boarding.
Security checks are centralised instead of being done at the boarding gates and for the first time at Changi, the new terminal will include a facial recognition system to ensure that the same traveller moves from the first to last stop.
The final rehearsal on Tuesday, before opening, involved about 1,500 airport staff, tenants and other participants.
All systems were tested and checked by airlines, commercial tenants, ground handling firms and other stakeholders.
The airport emergency services and Singapore Civil Defence Force also did a fire drill - the eighth and final test.
To ensure a smooth transfer, the nine airlines that will operate out of T4 will be progressively shifted over a week.
Cathay Pacific and Korean Air will move in on the first day, followed by Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines on Nov 2. The AirAsia group and Vietnam Airlines will start operating out of T4 on Nov 7.
AirAsia's Singapore chief executive officer Logan Velaitham said the move to the new "state-of-the-art, fully-automated Terminal 4" is in line with the airline's vision of becoming a digital carrier.
He said: "When you fly out of Changi with us, expect a fully automated service with FAST (fast and seamless travel) from door to gate, which integrates seamlessly into our own innovations on mobile and web."
Ground staff have been trained to become brand ambassadors for the airline, to assist guests with last-minute value-add services at check-in, such as buying travel insurance, inflight Wi-Fi or upgrading to preferred seats, he added.
At T4, AirAsia will deploy 19 check-in kiosks, 14 auto bag drop machines, two document check counters and two payment counters.
With T4, Changi Airport will be able to handle up to 16 million passengers a year, increasing its overall annual capacity to 82 million passengers.
This will provide the necessary capacity until the next major injection comes in about 10 to 12 years when T5 is ready.
CAG's executive vice-president (airport management) Tan Lye Teck, said: "We look forward to welcoming our first passengers to T4 next week."