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Changi’s new terminal is a glimpse into the airport of the future

The latest addition to Singapore’s main airport, which has a “positively surprising” design, is all about facilitating long goodbyes.

It’s officially the world’s best airport (and has been for five years in a row, according to World Airport Awards), and now Singapore’s Changi Airport has unveiled its soon-to-be opened Terminal 4 (T4).

Featuring facial recognition technology, a boulevard of 160 ficus trees and a design that facilitates long goodbyes, the 225,000 sq m T4 – which is three years in the making – is based on a theme that’s “fun, vibrant and positively surprising”. 

Its interior, which encompasses centralised zones for arrival and departure immigration, is inspired by a symmetrical orchid petal – a symbol that features in its marble flooring, carpets and skylights. 

T4’s pièce de résistance is its 300 m Central Galleria, which separates the transit area from the public zone. It’s transparent, so friends and relatives can wave goodbye to passengers right up to the boarding gate.

The terminal’s skylights and glass walls replicate a natural environment for trees and plants. Some 2,000 sq m of T4 are landscaped, with the building accommodating 186 large trees, most of which form a green border between the transit and boarding areas. 

Poh Li San, Changi Airport Group’s vice president, said T4 will delight passengers with “wow” features while showcasing Singapore’s architectural history and local culture – which is why it’ll have a Heritage Zone featuring contemporary artwork.

Changi’s T4 will formally open once operational readiness trials, which are in their final stage, have been completed.