SINGAPORE - A new arrival pick-up zone at Changi Airport's Terminal 1 will open this Wednesday (Feb 21), the first of several changes under a $323 million expansion project to boost the terminal's capacity.
From April , a new "meeters and greeters" hall will also be opened progressively, and a five-storey underground carpark will be ready in the fourth quarter of this year.
These updates on T1's expansion - which coincides with the construction of the Jewel Changi Airport mixed development - were provided by Changi Airport Group (CAG) during a media tour on Tuesday (Feb 14).
The new "meeters and greeters" hall will mean a 35 per cent expansion in the floor area for T1's arrival hall. The hall will be integrated fully with level 1 of Jewel allowing arriving passengers to walk directly into the new development.
Next year (2019), the baggage claim hall floor area will be expanded by 90 per cent, providing more space for arriving passengers. The number of baggage belts will also be increased from eight to 10.
The new carpark, which will be serving Jewel too after it opens in 2019, will be a boon for T1 users, who currently have to leave their vehicles at a temporary facility at Terminal 2 and take the Skytrain to T1. With about 2,500 parking spaces, the new carpark's capacity is triple that of the previous open-air one in T1, which was closed in 2014 to make way for Jewel.
On Wednesday (Feb 21), the current arrival pick-up area for T1 at level 1 will be relocated to basement 1. The existing pick-up facility will be demolished to allow for the construction of exit ramps for the new basement carpark serving T1 and Jewel.
CAG said that signs will be placed at the T1 arrival hall to guide passengers to the new pick-up area in the basement, via the travellator or lift.
Drivers heading to T1 are advised to keep right when approaching the control tower and follow the "T1 Arrival Pick-up" sign, which leads them to a down ramp into basement 1, CAG added.
The new arrival pick-up zone is near the new T1 taxi stand, which opened in December last year (2017). The taxi-stand currently has 21 bays but this number will increase to 40 when Jewel opens next year, CAG said.
Equipped with sensors and algorithms, the taxi stand uses an automatic dispatch system that directs incoming taxis to empty bays, helping the airport to save on manpower.
Work on the T1 expansion project began in March 2015 and are about 75 per cent complete.
"When completed in 2019, the T1 expansion project will raise Changi Airport's total handling capacity from 82 million passengers per annum to 85 million," CAG said.
It also said that construction of Jewel is 70 per cent complete, and that the development will attain its TOP status in the last quarter of this year. Jewel will house about 300 shops and food and beverage outlets, and will also boast of attractions such as a 40m high indoor waterfall and garden.
Manager Chong Boon Leong, 43, welcomes a larger arrival hall for T1.
"During the peak hours, it can be quite crowded with a lot of tour groups," he said.
He is also looking forward to the new basement carpark for T1, allowing him to dispense with the hassle of parking at T2.
"It takes an additional 10 minutes to walk and take the Skytrain over," he said.