Changi Airport T2 reopens fully with 4-storey waterfall display, new garden , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Changi Airport T2 reopens fully with 4-storey waterfall display, new garden

Travellers can immerse themselves in a multimedia digital waterfall display towering four storeys high and a landscaped garden at the upgraded Changi Airport Terminal 2 (T2), which fully reopened on Wednesday ahead of schedule.

The centrepiece of the terminal’s departure hall, the digital waterfall display The Wonderfall, stands at 14m tall and 17m wide, airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) said on Wednesday.

Nestled in a vertical garden, the large multimedia wall features a “waterfall” cascading over large boulders.

Every half-hour, a four-minute musical show will be screened at The Wonderfall across its 892-tile screen, with original music composed by Canadian pianist Jean-Michel Blais, CAG said.

In the departure transit area after immigration sits Dreamscape, a new garden that combines digital content, plants and fish.

Set against the backdrop of a digital “sky” ceiling emulating the airport’s weather conditions in real time, Dreamscape features more than 20,000 plants selected from 100 species, some of which are not commonly found in Singapore, noted CAG.

Like a skylight, the digital sky emulates daylight and meteorological conditions in real time through integration with the airport weather system. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The garden also has a fish pond that passengers can stride across on a transparent platform, amid audio recordings of more than 100 calls of birds, insects and other creatures.

With T2’s reopening after its expansion, which was originally set for completion in 2024, the terminal’s handling capacity has climbed from 23 million to 28 million passengers a year. This takes Changi Airport’s overall yearly capacity to 90 million passengers.

Fishes at a new pond located in the Gourmet Garden. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

In terms of handling capacity, T2 is now the largest of the airport’s four terminals after undergoing 3½ years of engineering and expansion works. The expansion has added more than 21,000 sq m – the size of about three football fields – to T2.

Shut for upgrading in May 2020 during the pandemic, T2 reopened in phases in 2022.

Key touch points, such as arrival immigration and baggage claim belts in the terminal’s southern wing, reopened in May 2022. Operations resumed at the departure hall in October that same year, to serve more passengers after international border controls eased as the Covid-19 pandemic receded.

The larger-than-life green structures display a wide array of plant life, featuring more than 20,000 plants selected from some 100 species from ferns to shrubs. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The terminal’s northern wing started serving passengers on Sept 28 in advance of its full reopening on Nov 1.

The revamped terminal serves 16 airlines that connect travellers to 40 cities. The carriers operating there include Singapore Airlines and German flag carrier Lufthansa.

There are new retail options at the upgraded T2, including the first South-east Asia pop-up of collectible merchandise store Funko, said CAG.

Also new to the terminal is Lotte Duty-Free Wines and Spirits – equipped with a robot bartender and a liquor-tasting lounge – in the transit area. In the departure hall, Australian artisanal cafe Jones The Grocer has a deli-style food counter on its ground level, with a bar and restaurant slated to open later in 2023 on its second level.

Be dazzled by the dizzying array of liquor at Lotte Duty Free’s double-storey store. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Speaking at an opening ceremony at T2 on Wednesday, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean noted CAG’s efforts in pushing ahead with the terminal’s expansion despite the uncertainties of the pandemic.

Looking ahead, Mr Teo spoke about the importance of capturing the region’s growth in air travel, citing the resumption of work on Terminal 5, which will add 50 million passengers to Changi Airport’s yearly capacity by the mid-2030s.

Embark on a fun playtime adventure at the 2 Bears Hideout in transit. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Innovation is integral, said Mr Teo, and the airport is rolling out new digital solutions, such as T2’s baggage-handling system that can track individual bags in real time and minimise mishandling. He also pointed to the need to decarbonise Singapore’s aviation industry.

T2 now houses nearly double the number of automated check-in kiosks and bag-drop machines, as well as a new automated early luggage storage system. This system can stow up to 2,400 bags that are checked in early before they are loaded onto departing aircraft, said CAG.

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. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The terminal is also the first at the airport to have automated special assistance lanes for people with disabilities and families with young children at both its arrival and departure immigration halls.

As at September, passenger traffic at Changi Airport was at about 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with nearly 10 million passengers passing through T2 since May 2022, said CAG.