A new arrival pick-up zone at Changi Airport's Terminal 1 will open on Wednesday, the first of several changes under a $323 million expansion project to boost the terminal's capacity.
The changes include a new "meeters and greeters hall", a five-storey underground carpark, an expanded baggage claim area plus more baggage belts.
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 last week.
The new "meeters and greeters" hall will lead to a 35 per cent ex-pansion in the floor area of T1's arrival hall, and will be opened progressively from April.
It will be integrated fully with level 1 of Jewel, allowing arriving passengers to walk directly into the new development.
Next year, 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 ready by the end of this year, and which will also serve Jewel after it opens next year - will be a boon for T1 users, who now have to leave their vehicles at a temporary facility at Terminal 2 and hop on the Skytrain to T1.
The new carpark's capacity, with its 2,500 parking spaces, is triple that of the previous open-air one in T1, which was closed in 2014 to make way for Jewel.
On Wednesday, the current arrival pick-up area for T1 at level 1 will also be relocated to basement 1.
The existing pick-up point will be demolished to make way for the construction of exit ramps for the new basement carpark serving T1 and Jewel.
CAG said signs will be placed at the T1 arrival hall to guide passengers to the new pick-up area. Drivers 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.
The relocated arrival pick-up zone is near the new T1 taxi stand, which opened last December. 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.
Works 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 Temporary Occupation Permit in the last quarter of this year.
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.