New terminal 4 at Singapore aims for new airlines, more flights

By John Walton, February 14 2013

Singapore's Changi Airport is set for a fourth terminal, boosting the number of passengers the airport can handle and reducing pressure on the facilities in existing terminals 1, 2 and 3. 

The airport also hopes to attract new airlines and improve the number of routes at the capacity-constrained terminals once Terminal 4 opens in 2017.

T4 will be home to both full service and low-cost airlines — which means that it will also have jetway aerobridges. No more dashing across the tarmac in a Singaporean deluge if you've gone for one of the cheaper flights for a short hop from Changi.

Smaller aircraft like Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 jets will be the focus of the new terminal, with the airport authority explaining that "it will primarily handle narrow body aircraft and be designed to enable quick turnaround of flights".

"T4 will have a look, feel and ambience comparable to Terminals 1 and 2," Changi Airport says in a statement, suggesting that you won't see the swish luxury fittings of Singapore Airlines' main terminal, T3.

While the new terminal will be 160,000 square metres in size, it's unlikely to match the four-storey green wall in T3.
While the new terminal will be 160,000 square metres in size, it's unlikely to match the four-storey green wall in T3.

Yet even if the terminal might lack in finesse, it'll make up for it in function: "in line with the trend of self-service options at airports around the world, T4 will provide more kiosks for self check-in, self bag-tagging and self bag-drops," the airport promises.

All that will bring sixteen million extra passengers a year through Changi, as the airport fights to retain its place in the top tier of Asian hub airports in the face of challengers Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok — and even Jakarta, with Kangaroo Route flights to London restarting this year.

Changi's new Terminal 4 will be built on the location of the disused Budget Terminal, to the west of the terminal and on the way in as you approach by taxi. (There'll also be a new road to make sure that your cab gets in and out smoothly.)

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John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


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