Who designed Marina Bay Sands uniform

Champion Changi - Singapore hub airport

Air traffic is a growth market. Nowhere has this been more internalized than in Singapore. In 1975 the decision was made to replace the Paya Lebar city airport with a major airport on the northeastern edge of the city-state. In December 1981, Changi Airport opened Terminal 1 and recorded 8.1 million passengers. In 2012, the 50 million mark was exceeded for the first time.

Last year 55.4 million passengers were counted. This puts Singapore's airport in 16th place worldwide and 5th in Asia behind Beijing, Tokyo-Haneda, Hong Kong and Shanghai-Pudong.

Small city-state with global significance

Singapore, a small state with a population of just 5.4 million, lives mainly from those who transfer. The market leader Singapore Airlines (SIA) alone transports around 40 percent of transfer passengers who do not even want to go to the commercial metropolis, but only change aircraft here, with a minimum transfer time of 60 minutes. There is no more convenient airport in the world to change planes than Changi, if you believe passenger surveys. According to them, Singapore is often honored as the best airport. Thanks to forward planning, Changi is always one step ahead of demand. To attract passengers, Changi offers free internet and cinema, tropical gardens and even an outdoor pool on the terminal roof. "We are also among the top ten most punctual airports worldwide," says Oliver Kiesewetter, Chief Operating Officer in Changi and previously at Munich Airport, in an interview with FLUG REVUE. In 2016, Munich was in second place in the punctuality statistics in the category of major airports, Changi in seventh place. Singapore itself has little influence on the approach capacities because the Malaysian airspace is used for this. This is exactly what makes the number of maximum possible flight movements per hour appear comparatively low despite two runways that can be used in parallel: "We can manage up to 65 take-offs and landings per hour, but the proportion of widebodies in Singapore is very high," says Kiesewetter.

Changi records a departure or arrival every 90 seconds on average, and 6,800 flights are handled per week. Changi currently has three terminals that are arranged in a U-shape in the central area of ​​the airport and have between 308,000 and 380,000 square meters of floor space. Terminal 1, which opened in 1981 and has been expanded several times to today's 29 passenger boarding bridges, can handle 21 million passengers annually. To the south is Terminal 2, which was inaugurated in 1990 and, with 35 passenger boarding bridges, has most of the parking spaces close to the building. To the north extends the currently newest building, Terminal 3, opened in 2008, for up to 22 million users annually. This is where most of the long-haul flights operated by Home Carrier Singapore Airlines are handled at the 28 piers. The transparent building with its translucent roof structure is the showpiece of Changi. In total, the airport currently has 92 gate positions with passenger boarding bridges (including 19 for the A380) and 42 outside positions. The airport planners in Singapore have found that passengers appreciate the smaller, modular individual terminals more than a gigantic central building. However, the large users like SIA have grown out of a single building. The flag carrier now uses Terminals 2 and 3. It is only two hours before landing that it is determined which building a flight will dock at, which makes it equally difficult for passengers and those collecting them.

Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, Air Asia and Cathay Pacific will not have this problem when they move into Terminal 4, which is currently in the final phase of construction, in 2017. The two-story building with 195,000 square meters of floor space and 25 passenger boarding bridges (only four of which are for wide-body aircraft) marks the first step in the next major expansion plan over the coming decade. It is the smallest of the four terminals and is located on the south side of the site at the entrance to the airport. The Spartan budget terminal for low-cost airlines was located here from 2006 to 2011. But that had not proven itself, as the passengers from Changi expected more comfort than the standard offered there without air conditioning and passenger boarding bridges.

The new terminal building is now seven times larger and offers every imaginable comfort. "The building was erected in four years and has a capacity for 16 million passengers a year," explains Oliver Kiesewetter. The concept is simple: departures at the top, arrivals at the bottom. The new “Fast and Seamless Travel” (FAST) concept is used for departing guests, in which many processes such as check-in and even passport control are largely carried out by the passenger himself or automatically at kiosks. Astonishing, with all the other high technology, seems the fact that Terminal 4 is not connected to the other terminals with the automatic train, but only with a conventional shuttle bus to Terminal 2. “That is not a problem, because the residents there Airlines have a very low proportion of transferring passengers, ”assures Kiesewetter.

At the same time, 3 new parking spaces will be created south of the terminal for 17 additional standard fuselage and nine large aircraft. The expansion will increase the number of aircraft positions by a quarter to over 180. The next milestone will be “The Jewel” in 2018. The building in the central area is scheduled to open at the beginning of 2019; it is currently still a major construction site.

The “jewel” will be a shopping arcade made of aluminum and glass that will set new standards. The architect is Moshe Safdie. He has already designed the previous icon of Singapore's skyline, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

"The Jewel" as a new hub

The centerpiece will be huge tropical gardens spread over five floors in the air-conditioned area, but above all a gigantic waterfall over 40 meters high. The passage will contain a 130-room hotel and check-in facilities for passengers who then embark on a cruise or bus trip. At the same time, the arrival area of ​​Terminal 1 in the new complex will be expanded by 70 percent, which in turn will increase its capacity by three million passengers a year.

“The Jewel” also fulfills an important bridging function: It opens up the direct footpath from Terminal 1 to Terminals 2 and 3, which was previously not possible. With these expansion steps alone, the capacity of Changi Airport will increase from 66 million today to 85 million passengers by 2018 - in good time before the number of passengers actually reaches these values. The really big leap should then take place within the next ten years: The 1,300 hectare airport area will be almost doubled. The new area is called Changi East. An artificially created area is used for this. In addition to the two main tracks, both 4000 meters long and 60 meters wide, there is already a third, isolated track in the east, which is only 2750 meters long. It is currently used by the Singapore Air Force as part of Changi Air Base. Changi Airport is to take over this third runway by 2022. To do this, it will be extended to 4,000 meters and connected to the rest of the airport site with 40 kilometers of taxiways.

Terminal 5 should be ready by the middle of the next decade - a huge complex for around 50 million passengers. It will be one of the largest terminals in the world, of course with its own subway connection. SIA wants to bundle its entire flight operations here. "It will be a huge terminal and we are the biggest customer," says SIA boss Goh Choon Phong in an interview with FLUG REVUE. “We are cooperating with the government on this. We need a lot of discussion about how T5 is best designed. "

Today around 100 airlines already fly to Changi Airport, most recently Air New Zealand and Oman Air. Around 320 destinations worldwide are connected non-stop. "The geographical conditions make the airplane the only efficient means of transport in the Asia-Pacific region," says Choy Da Wen, head of the Changi East project. "And we are proud that we are always a little ahead of the demand curve."

FLUG REVUE edition 07/2016