Passengers were given a rousing welcome at the newly opened Terminal 4 of Changi Airport in Singapore today as the first flight - Cathay Pacific Airways CX659 from Hong Kong - landed at the airport.
As the passengers disembarked from the plane, they received orchids. They were also given a goodie tote bag containing a plush toy, fan and card holder. Singapore’s instrumental band Lorong Boys performed at the baggage belt area and greeted the travellers.
Overwhelmed with joy, one passenger, Mdm Rameza, said, “It was very good. There were live performances and goodies, and operations were very smooth.”
Another passenger, Mohammed Hossenbux, said, “The whole process was very efficient. It only took me 15 minutes to walk from the plane exit to get out of here (arrival hall)."
According to the Changi Airport Group, the new terminal is expected to receive and see off 20 flights, carrying close to 6,700 passengers, during its first 24 hours of operations.
There new Terminal 4 is equipped with various features including start-to-end self-service systems, allowing travellers to check in, deposit their baggage and even go through immigration via automated systems. There is also a facial recognition system, which captures a passenger’s photo at the various kiosks, authenticate the traveller's identity as he or she moves through the airport.
The new terminal is spread over an area of 225,000 sqm and 4 is only about half the size of Terminal 3, making it Changi Airport's smallest terminal. But once fully operational, it will be expected to handle 16 million passengers a year - about 70 per cent of T3's handling capacity. This would up Changi Airport’s total annual capacity to 82 million travellers.
Since the completion of the construction last December, more than 100 trials, involving 2,500 airport staff and 1,500 volunteers, had been conducted at T4, to prepare the terminal for its full opening today.
Along with Cathay Pacific Airways, Korean Air also commenced operations at the new terminal on Tuesday. This will be followed by Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines on November 2, and AirAsia and Vietnam Airlines on November 7.