Changi Airport Terminal 4 ready for Oct 31 opening after full-dress rehearsal

Airport emergency service officers rescuing a casualty during a fire evacuation exercise.
Airport emergency service officers rescuing a casualty during a fire evacuation exercise.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
An view of the Departure Hall.
An view of the Departure Hall.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Steel in Bloom, sculpture in Changi Airport Terminal 4 transit area.
Steel in Bloom, sculpture in Changi Airport Terminal 4 transit area.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Curry Times cafe at Terminal 4 feature old school rides.
The Curry Times cafe at Terminal 4 feature old school rides.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Airport emergency service officers in action during a fire evacuation exercise.
Airport emergency service officers in action during a fire evacuation exercise.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Police officer and Singapore Armed Forces soldiers patrolling the Departure Hall.
Police officer and Singapore Armed Forces soldiers patrolling the Departure Hall.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Airport emergency service officers rescuing a casualty during a fire evacuation exercise.
Airport emergency service officers rescuing a casualty during a fire evacuation exercise.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Singapore Civil Defence Force officers in action during a fire evacuation exercise.
Singapore Civil Defence Force officers in action during a fire evacuation exercise.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Changi Airport Terminal 4 transit area.
The Changi Airport Terminal 4 transit area.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
An automated tray return system at Food Emporium, a food court at the Changi Airport Terminal 4 public area.
An automated tray return system at Food Emporium, a food court at the Changi Airport Terminal 4 public area.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

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.


"Passengers" checking in at Changi Airport Terminal 4 Departure Hall during a simulation. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

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.


Staff helping "passengers" to check in. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

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."