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HomesingaporeChangi Airport's Terminal 2 fully reopens with lush greenery and digital waterfall...

Changi Airport's Terminal 2 fully reopens with lush greenery and digital waterfall display

SINGAPORE: Changi Airport Terminal 2 fully reopened to passengers on Wednesday (Nov 1) after three and a half years of upgrading works.

The completion comes ahead of schedule, with expansion works originally slated to be done by next year. 

The reopening comes at a time when passenger traffic for Changi Airport has rebounded to 90 per cent of pre-COVID levels, as of September 2023. Passenger volumes are expected to fully recover by next year.

The upgraded terminal, adding more than 21,000 sq m to the building, places Changi Airport in a better position to handle higher traffic. Sixteen airlines will operate at Terminal 2, with flights connecting to 40 cities.

With the terminal’s expansion project adding five million passengers per annum to Changi Airport’s capacity, the airport’s total handling capacity across all four terminals is now 90 million passengers per annum.

The expansion project started in January 2020, two months before Singapore closed its borders due to the  COVID-19 pandemic.

The terminal closed for upgrading works in May 2020. While operations were supposed to be suspended for 18 months, arrival operations in the south wing only resumed in May 2022 due to delays from the pandemic. Departure operations began in October 2022.

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Speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean noted that the aviation sector has become a key pillar of Singapore’s economy.”Pre-COVID, the Changi air hub and its adjacent industries contributed over 5 per cent of Singapore’s GDP and supported almost 200,000 jobs.”

He said that Singapore must be ready to “capture future growth in air travel”, noting that work had resumed on the construction of Terminal 5. “When ready in the mid-2030s, T5 will add approximately 50 million passengers to Changi’s annual capacity and this will strengthen Singapore’s position as a premier air hub.”

REFRESHED TENANT MIX IN A NATURE-THEMED DESIGN

Boasting a central common-use Fast and Seamless Travel zone, the new-look Terminal 2 has nearly twice its original number of automated check-in kiosks and bag drop machines, and immigration halls have been expanded to support more automated immigration lanes.

Terminal 2 is also the first Changi terminal to have automated Special Assistance Lanes for people with disabilities and young children at both arrival and departure immigration.A new fully automated early baggage storage system has also been installed with the capacity to handle up to 2,400 bags. 

The media were also given a tour of the refreshed terminal, which features elements of nature, from ceiling designs to wall finishes modelled after natural landforms and green columns with plants.

Digital features of nature were also incorporated. A 14m-tall digital display called The Wonderfall, located in the heart of the departure hall, depicts a waterfall crashing over boulders.

The old flight information display flip board originally displayed at Terminal 2’s departure hall has been repurposed into a kinetic art display that visitors can have some fun with.

Located at level two of the newly reopened Terminal 2’s departure hall and publicly accessible, the flip board is able to recreate visitors’ selfies and iconic landmarks such as the Changi Airport control tower using symbols and letters.

Among the refreshed tenant mix in the public areas of Terminal 2 is Funko, a retailer of pop culture collectibles. Southeast Asia’s first Funko pop-up will stock figurines of the Merlion.

Three homegrown brands – Lynk Fragrances, Peranakan confectionary Baker’s Well and coffee shop Cafe O – have also set up shop in the departure hall. Other food options in the landside area include Jones the Grocer and JINJJA Kitchen.

In the transit area, a garden dubbed Dreamscape consists of a transparent platform over a fish pond, accompanied by the sounds of nature in the form of recordings of local wildlife taken from different parts of Singapore, including Pulau Ubin. The fish pond is home to cichlids and aquatic plants.

Above the garden, a digital “sky” projects real-time weather conditions through integration with the airport weather system. It also periodically transforms into an underwater portal where visitors get a bottom-up view of a river filled with fish, otters and a sampan boat drifting across the surface. 

The transit area is also home to a newly opened, double-storey Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits, which features a robot bartender called Toni serving cocktails to visitors. Visitors can sample 18 different whiskeys on a lounge on the upper level, named the Forest of Li Bai after the Chinese poet.

A dining place with panoramic views of the airport tarmac is also situated at the transit area. Dubbed Gourmet Garden, options include Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, Hard Rock Cafe, The Hainan Story, The Satay Club by Harry’s and Boost. 

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