The future of Singapore Changi Airport

Most people agree that Singapore Changi is already the best airport in the world, yet recently revealed plans for its expansion show that it’s going to get even better!

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The location of the Jewel, courtesy of Google Maps (Click to enlarge)

It’s great news that the world’s best airport is planning to get even better, especially with the revelation of its stunning plans for the new Jewel Terminal, which will be open within 3 years. Part of the excitement of this recent announcement is the inclusion of a Forest Valley and Rain Vortex within the terminal itself, making waiting for a flight not so much a chore, but actually part of the holiday itself! Singapore is already known as the Garden City, and with an airport terminal like this – which could be the very first or last thing you’ll see on your trip here – it just adds to the legend!

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Changi’s Jewel Terminal complex is expected to open by the end of 2018, and will have five storeys above ground as well as five basement levels. It will boast a floor area of about 134,000 sqm that will be used for retail, airport operations, cultural and entertainment attractions, and a hotel.

The Changi Airport Group and CapitaMalls Asia are joint developers of this S$1.47 billion mixed-use development, and Safdie Architects, who designed the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort are heading up the design consortium for the Jewel.

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The multi-storey complex will be encased in a distinctive glass and steel dome. It will also feature a waterfall as high as five storeys or 40m within a lush indoor garden. There will be an estimated 270 to 300 retail tenants.

It will connect the three existing terminals, as well as Changi Airport’s MRT station by foot, and add a passenger handling capacity of 3m to Changi’s current tally of 66m per year, which will consolidate its position as the busiest airport in South East Asia (and busiest Asian airport overall, excluding China).

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There will be facilities dedicated to the fly-cruise and fly-coach passenger segments to make travel experiences smoother. For people awaiting their flights, there will be ample retail opportunities (up to 300 shops in this terminal alone!) and food and beverage options – no doubt all with an amazing view of the Forest Valley below.

I must say I fell in love with the whole concept after watching this video, and it seems as though Changi is taking the best elements of the rainforest at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and going one (or two, or three) steps further by creating the whole terminal in this style, complete with running waterfalls and ponds – not to mention the incredible rain vortex itself!

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I certainly don’t need an excuse to come back to Singapore, and with this amazing construction hopefully completed by the end of 2018, it will be an even greater feeling for me to step off of my Singapore Airlines flight after a 12 hour non-stop flight from London and just marvel at the beautiful design of the terminal. Why can’t Heathrow be as good as this?!

Unless otherwise stated, all photos in this article are courtesy of Jewel Changi Airport.

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11 thoughts on “The future of Singapore Changi Airport

    1. Oh man, don’t remind me how awful European airports are. Heathrow Terminal 2 opened last year and it is rubbish compared to many Asian airports even today – but clearly with Changi improving it will make European airports like LHR seem even more behind the times.

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  1. Hoooo-wow! That looks like something James Cameron came up with. I think Changi got insecure when Incheon International Airport nudged it off the top airports list.

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    1. Hi AJ! Yeah it looks really futuristic, but when you think about it, much of Incheon is also futuristic in its design, so maybe Changi want to combine the Incheon’s technological style with its own garden city concept? It looks awesome!

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  2. What about the new Terminal 5? Which will be completed in around 2020s. I really hope Terminal 5 will be exclusive to Singapore Airlines. Anyways, thanks you this wonderful post. 😉

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