Changi Airport – An example of perpetual innovation


Changi AirportI was at Changi Airport recently wearing my travel blogger hat to review it from a traveler’s perspective. However, the business innovation student in me could not be kept away. As I wandered across the three active terminals of Changi Airport at Singapore, I was impressed by the way they plan for future.

Lets look at some of the key numbers of Changi Airport:

  • At the time of writing Changi has 3 active terminals, terminal T1 that opened in 1981, T2 that came up in 1990 and terminal T3 that opened in 2008
  • Between the three terminals, they can handle 66 million passengers annually.
  • Connected to 320 cities in 80 countries

Key Innovations at Changi Airport

  • Designing the Airport with an assumption that travelers spend a lot of time at the airport
  • Designing the facilities keeping in mind the airlines that use the Changi Airport as a hub
  • Designing the services for passengers who spend substantial time
  • Keeping the interest of all stakeholders and all kinds of passengers in mind
  • Each terminal is designed on a theme highlighting the emphasis on design – T1 is based on tropical city, T2 has lots of gardens and T3 has a unique ceiling design that lets the light in but keeps the heat out.
  • Efficiency is built-in in the processes – It takes you less than a minute to go through the immigration, the baggage arrives as soon as you arrive on the belt.
  • There are so many activities available for the passengers apart from the regular shopping and eating options that most airports offer. Red my detailed post on Changi Airrport – What to eat, buy, see & experience.
  • Terminal T1 was re-built in 2012 and a budget terminal has been demolished to give way to T4.

Future Planning of Changi Airport

One would think that this capacity and this quality should be good enough for a city state like Singapore, but I went through the future plans of Changi’s expansion and here is a glimpse of what they are aiming for in future

  • Terminal T4 will open in 2017 with a capacity to handle 16 Million passengers. It would use technology to enable passengers to not just self check in but to also self tag the baggage and drop the baggage at designated points.
  • Jewel Changi Airport – an iconic multiple purpose complex will open in 2018 designed by Safdie architects who also designed another icon of Singapore – Marina Bay Sands. It would house world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Jewel Changi Airport will have 5 floors above the ground and 5 below the grouns.
  • Terminal T5 is expected to open in 2020

Changi has been winning the ‘Best Airport Award’ – more than 500 such awards and 27 times consecutively by Business Traveller. It seems they do not want to let go of these tags to anyone else.

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  1. Oh yes Anu… it’s awesome… I wasn’t aware of the change when I left for the US once… When I came back it was on T2 and I jumped with joy when I saw the change… what a welcome it was 🙂 I think it’s done brilliantly… 🙂

    Btw – thanks for your visit and comment on Drishti.. appreciate it…
    Do hop to Travel with Archie someday, would love to know what the veteran travel blogger thinks about my new travel blog! 🙂 Cheers!!


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