Why Singapore Changi’s New Record Breaking Terminal Will Make Your Jaw Drop!

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Changi Airport Jewel terminal
Courtesy of Changi Airport Group.

Changi Airport’s New State of the Art Terminal

Most frequent travelers to Asia will at some point pass through Singapore’s Changi Airport. It is widely considered to be the best airport in the world for a number of reasons. In fact, it was voted as best airport in the world in the World Airport Awards, slightly edging out Seoul’s Incheon Airport.

As the best (or one of the best) airports, Changi is running into capacity issues. In an effort to address that problem, they recently broke ground on the Jewel Project. The Jewel Project is a 10 story glass terminal which will sit in front of the existing Terminal 1.

Changi Airport Jewel terminal
Google Maps image showing the approximate position of the new terminal.

As you can see from the rendering above, this new terminal is anything but ordinary. Being constructed for a cost of around $1.2 billion, it will have five stories below ground, five above ground and will contain a number of interesting facilities including:

  • 236,000 square feet of plants.
  • Forest Valley – a five story garden with thousands of trees and shrubs.
  • 131 foot (40m) tall Rain Vortex waterfall which will transform into a light and sound show at night. (It will also be the tallest indoor waterfall in the world.)
  • 140,000 square foot top level which will contain walking paths, playgrounds and dining outlets.
  • New multi-modal transport lounge for fly-cruise and fly-bus passengers to get tickets, boarding passes and baggage transfer.
  • 130 room hotel operated by YOTEL.
  • A number of new shopping experiences including unique concepts, international brands and local shops.
Changi Airport Jewel terminal
Courtesy of Changi Airport Group.

Along with construction of the new terminal, Changi will also renovate the aging Terminal 1. The combination of these efforts will mean an increase in passenger capacity from 17.7 million to 24 million per year. The new terminal will also add 70% to the floor space of the existing arrival and baggage claim halls.

Other improvements will include new check-in counters, a doubling of the number of vehicular drop off lanes, pedestrian bridges to access the Singapore MRT and a new basement car park which will have 2,500 spaces. (The new terminal is being built over the current surface parking lot.)

Changi Airport Jewel terminal
Courtesy of Changi Airport Group.


You can find more details about the project in the original press release and even more renderings over at the Changi Airport Instagram page. It is amazing to me that as our airports here in the U.S. continue to age, already best of class airports like Changi continue to reinvent and improve.

Changi Airport Jewel terminal
Courtesy of Changi Airport Group.

I have never had a bad experience traveling through Singapore and try to route through the city whenever possible. When the new terminal opens in 2018, I will make sure to check it out. Who knew that an airport terminal could be a tourist attraction in and of itself!



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