Automated Changi: Singapore airport opened a terminal of the future

Anastasia Dagaeva
November 10, 2017
The air traveller’s favourite, Singapore’s Changi Airport, opened its newest fully-automatic T4 terminal worth $723 million. The first jet to dock the «terminal of the future» was Cathay Pacific Airways wide-body airliner. The new terminal now serves 9 carriers including AirAsia, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines. 

The original plan was to create an environment allowing passengers to proceed the check-in and security faster, so they can relax and spend more time in the duty free area. The face-scanning technology, self-service check-in counters and smart security systems that screen bags with laptops inside  all designed to provide more comfort to passengers. No more queues and moving bags around the terminal.  

To shorten the pre-flight procedures time was one of the most popular passengers wishes reported by recent IATA survey.  

So, what T4 has to offer? 

Passengers can collect their boarding pass, print the bag tag and finally - tag their checked-bag. People are able to drop their checked bags at the automated bag-drop after their identity is authenticated by the machine. 

An enhanced version of the automatic lanes in the Changi’s terminals —  passengers are able to scan their travel ID, boarding pass and fingerprint to facilitate identity checks by the automated immigration gates at T4. The robotized immigration gates also perform the state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to authenticate the passenger’s identity. The self-service feature is available for a group of passengers including: Singapore citizens, permanent residents, long term pass holders or visitors whose finger-pints are registered with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Only passengers over 6 years old are allowed. 

Security screening 
The centralized security screening at T4 terminal uses new CT technology so that passengers’ laptops and tablets can now rest inside the bag for a seamless scanning. Using an automated system, trays are presented to two passengers at the same time. The trays are automatically returned to the start of the line after each scanning procedure is done. This feature improves screening efficiency and reduces waiting time in the queue. 

Passengers simply scan their boarding pass at the boarding gate and self-ID with the face recognition system. This self-service function is available to passengers who have used the automated immigration gate on the same day.  

In 2017, Changi airport was awarded by Skytrax as a the World’s Best for the fifth time. The experts valued its tech superiority and a service quality. The airport representatives promised to break two records by the end of 2017 - to reach the traffic figure as much as 58,7 million passengers and expand its selected 19 destinations map to 130 flights per week. 

The SIN’s major traffic (about 80%) is Mainland China and South-East Asia, and the interesting fact that these destinations cover not capitals but regional cities. Singapore is connected to 34 Chinese airports, including several North-East ones. Overall, more than 100 airlines fly to Changi airport, connecting the small island to some 380 cities in 90 countries. With more than 7,000 weekly scheduled flights, an aircraft takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 90 seconds.