Singapore’s Changi Airport is getting ready to double in size, according to CNN. The airport has long been hailed as the best and most beautiful airport in the world. Now, details have been released for the addition of Terminal 5.
Officials say the new terminal will be much more than just a piece of the transportation hub. It will be a social extension of the Southeast Asian city-state-country.
With its current design, Changi can accommodate 82 million passengers a year. Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore‘s Prime Minister, announced during a National Day rally that Terminal 5 will increase the airport’s capacity by around a whopping 50 million people yearly. He added that the new terminal will be as big as the four terminals the airport already has combined.
“We are building one more new Changi Airport. It is huge,” he said.
Construction is slated to begin around two years from now and is expected to take years to complete. It is estimated that Terminal 5 will be completed and open by the mid-2030s. Plans were put on hold for two years due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. However, during this time, the design was revisited and improved.
“We concluded that the future of aviation remains bright. Now, with borders re-opening, people are traveling again. Passenger traffic has already exceeded half of pre-Covid-19 levels,” he said.
The new terminal will be linked to the airport’s other terminals and include a three-runway system. Lee said the updated design considers the challenges brought on by the pandemic and the potential need to limit cross-infection between passengers. If necessary, it can be reconfigured to allow for the isolation of passengers from different flights.
Additional features will include enhanced ventilation systems, contactless systems, solar panels, thermal energy storage, and district cooling.
The design concept will make the terminal more akin to a series of neighborhoods, much like “Singapore itself.” Social spaces will include not only large ones like those commonly seen in an airport but also smaller, intimate ones as well.
“Our intention is to redefine what an airport terminal can be,” said Thomas Heatherwick, designer of Heatherwick Studios, which will be designing the terminal along with KPF.
“Most airports aren’t great places to spend time but Changi has always been different. Rather than making a single vast monolith on the outskirts of a city for the exclusive use of travelers, our plan is to create a social space that people living in the city are excited to visit.”