November 7 2023  |  Airline & Terminal News

Inside FTE APEX Asia Expo's tour of Changi Airport's spectacular new T2

By Jane Hobson

Jurassic Mile at Changi Airport T2

FTE APEX Asia Expo kicked off today in Singapore with a tour of Changi Airport's recently-opened Terminal 2 for the Expo's Premium Pass holders, hosted by Changi Airport Group.

After three and a half years of engineering and expansion works, Terminal 2 has fully reopened ahead of schedule, restoring four-terminal operations at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

FTE APEX Asia Expo Premium Pass holders embark on tour of Changi Airport T2. Photo credit: Grant Pritchard

T2’s completion is timely and needed to meet capacity requirements, in anticipation of full travel recovery to pre-COVID levels in 2024. The T2 expansion project has added 5 million passengers per annum to Changi’s capacity, bringing the airport’s total handling capacity to 90 million.

“Setting a new benchmark for customer service and delight among airports,” Changi Airport Terminal 2 is refreshed and back to full operation

Speaking at the T2 Expansion Opening Ceremony on November 1, Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, 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.”

Changi Airport Terminal 2 also caters for its younger travellers

The role of nature and immersive experiences in the terminal
According to the November press release, T2’s design philosophy is guided by a nature-inspired theme, with key touchpoints being transformed within the terminal. From ceiling designs to wall finishes mimicking natural landforms to the choice of carpet patterns and horticulture displays, elements of nature are seamlessly incorporated throughout the terminal.

Lush green columns adorned with a diverse array of plants contribute to creating a serene and soothing atmosphere, fostering tranquility and relaxation for passengers and visitors alike.

At the heart of T2’s departure hall is a 14m-tall digital display, dubbed The Wonderfall. Set amid a vertical garden, The Wonderfall captures the essence of nature's raw beauty in breathtaking detail.

FTE Founder and CEO Daniel Coleman at The Wonderfall on November 7

"A great new digital feature at the revamped SIN T2 which attendees at FTE APEX Asia Expo got to experience on a tour kindly hosted by Changi Airport Group today. Bravo!" said Daniel Coleman in a LinkedIn post after the tour.

Inside the departure transit area, a new Dreamscape garden offers a selection of plants amid a meticulously landscaped backdrop, brought alive by a ‘digital sky’ which changes its hues depending on the time of day.

The T2 expansion project has added more than 21,000 square meters to the terminal building to support additional infrastructure, 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 have almost doubled. The immigration halls have been expanded to support additional automated immigration lanes allowing more passengers to be served at any time.

A host of new attractions and facilities, as well as new retail concepts, elevate the Changi Experience to new heights

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.

Members of the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group received an exclusive baggage tour at Changi Airport Group before all Premium Pass holders were invited on a special tour on November 7. Photo credit: Grant Pritchard

With 16 airlines operating at T2, the terminal has flights connecting to 40 cities. Close to 10 million passengers have been served at T2 since May 2022 when the terminal’s arrival south wing was first reopened. For the month of September 2023, passenger traffic at Changi Airport was about 90 percent of pre-COVID levels.

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. This expansion project augments Changi’s handling capacity, allowing us to serve more passengers in the years ahead.

“We hope T2 will set a new benchmark for customer service and delight among airports. And we hope every user will find great pleasure and discover wonder whenever they travel through T2.”

T2 adds a new buzz to airport dining, offering a microcosm of cuisine

A new buzz to retail-tainment and dining
Beyond a bustling air hub, Changi Airport continues to build its reputation as a world-class lifestyle destination. In the past month, 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 Southeast Asia’s first Funko pop-up. Not only will collectors be able to get their hands on Singapore’s exclusive Merlion among other popular figurines, but also be able to pose with larger-than-life Funko statues of their favourite characters, straight out of fiction.

The departure hall also welcomes three homegrown brands which are new to Changi: Lynk Fragrances, Baker’s Well and Café O which features unique prata flatbread delights.

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. Korean fast-food chain JINJJA Chicken is back at T2 with a refreshing new concept known as JINJJA Kitchen serving hotplate bulgogi (grilled meat) and trendy Croffles (croissant waffles).

In the transit area, travellers will be greeted by the newly opened Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits. This grand double-storey store not only retails a plethora of fine liquor, but also showcases a first-in-airport robot bartender Toni. Above the bar, a massive 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.

Visitors to Lotte’s upper level Forest of Li Bai lounge can sample a range of 18 whiskies, take photos with famous K-pop artistes in the smart selfie mirror, and admire the vivid colours of the LED video ceiling. The Gourmet Garden offers a dining area with panoramic views of the apron and luscious foliage draping down from above. Hard Rock Cafe returns to Changi Airport with its signature offerings such as Legendary Steak Burgers, Baby Back Ribs, popular cocktails, and collector-item merchandise.

The Gourmet Garden showcases many of Singapore’s distinctive flavours. The Satay Club by Harry’s, known for its signature skewers, also offers local fusion cocktail creations such as Chendol Colada, TSK "Kopi" Ice and the renowned Harry's Singapore Sling.

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice is where diners will be able to savour Singapore’s iconic chicken rice, while at The Hainan Story bakery and coffee & toast kiosk, freshly made pastries and Kopi Gu You (butter coffee) will satisfy those looking for a taste of Singapore’s culinary heritage.More local favourites are also available at CRAVE Nasi Lemak, which sells the popular coconut rice dish paired with various sides, and Old Chang Kee known for its famous curry puffs and other finger food.

Accolades and Awards
Changi Airport Terminal 2 has been awarded the BCA Universal Design Excellence Award for its design and user-friendliness, as well as the BCA Green Mark Platinum for incorporating sustainability features to ensure the highest level of environmental performance.

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