With a cascading waterfall, a vertical garden and megalithic boulders, you could be forgiven for thinking you are in a soothing, tropical paradise at Singapore Changi Airport’s reimagined Terminal 2.
It’s taken three and a half years of impressive engineering work, and the uncertainty of working through the Covid years, to arrive at the point where Terminal 2 is fully operational again and Changi Airport has restored its four terminal operations–ahead of schedule.
T2’s completion has added five million passengers per year to Changi’s capacity, bringing the airport’s total handling capacity to 90 million pax per year.
Speaking at the T2 expansion opening ceremony, Singapore senior minister and coordinating minister for national security Teo Chee Hean, said, “The T2 expansion project started in January 2020, two months before Singapore closed its borders because of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, no one knew how severe the pandemic would be, or how long it would last.
“But Changi Airport Group (CAG) pushed ahead with the T2 expansion, driven by the conviction that our Changi air hub would not only recover from the pandemic, but emerge stronger.”
T2’s design philosophy is guided by a nature-inspired theme to create tranquillity and relaxation.
At the heart of T2’s departure hall is a 14-metre-tall digital display, dubbed The Wonderfall. Set amid a vertical garden, a majestic waterfall cascades over megalithic boulders.
Inside the departure transit area, a brand-new landscaped garden – Dreamscape – is brought alive by a ‘digital sky’ which changes its hues depending on the time of day.
Special assistance lanes installed
Additional infrastructure at T2 includes new systems, and more retail offerings. With a central common-use Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) zone, the number of automated check-in kiosks and bag drop machines has almost doubled.
The immigration halls have been expanded to support additional automated immigration lanes allowing more passengers to be served at any time.
T2 is also the first terminal in Changi to have automated Special Assistance Lanes for persons with disabilities and young children at both arrival and departure immigration. A new early baggage storage system has also been installed that is fully automated with the capacity to handle up to 2,400 bags.
Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s programme director for the Terminal 2 Expansion Project, said, “Changi Airport has always been pushing the boundaries of airport service and innovation, while staying ahead of the latest trends in digital as well as retail and dining offerings.
“With T2, we sought to enhance the passenger experience, bringing together a modern terminal inspired by nature, with immersive digital experiences, innovative technology, as well as transformative retail and dining concepts that create a sense of place.”
More retail and food & beverage stores have opened in both T2’s public and transit areas. Visitors to the public areas of T2 will be treated to a range of novel concepts, including South-east Asia’s first Funko pop-up. Visitors will be able to pose with larger-than-life Funko statues of their favourite characters, straight out of fiction.
Changi Airport’s first landside duplex cafe, Jones the Grocer, is another addition to the departure hall. This well-known artisanal café features a grab-and-go deli-style food counter at the ground level, which is now open, as well as an upper-level bar and restaurant complete with a show kitchen, set to open later this year.
In transit, travellers will be greeted by the newly opened Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits, which showcases a first-in-airport robot bartender Toni.
Above the bar, a 30-metre circumference LED ring plays scenes of the moon reflected in a lake, a homage to Tang dynasty poet Li Bai’s famous work, Drinking Alone Under the Moon.