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The World’s Best Airport Goes Green

By Paul French | Last updated on

changi airport

Sometimes, the key to staying at the top of your game is to branch out.

In June this year, Singapore airport debuted as the premier airport in world travel with a score of 9.07 in AirHelp Score.

Meanwhile Singapore Airlines was crowned the world’s best airline, earning the top marks for value, on-time performance, customer service efficiency and quality of service. The things that matter.

So according to our rankings, Singapore currently holds the dual crown of best airport and best airline in the world.

Now Singapore’s Changi Airport has opened its fourth terminal with a capacity of 16 million, raising its total annual capacity to 82 million. The new terminal – Singapore’s first since 2008 – is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Airport of the Future

The project, which cost nearly $750 million, brings biodiversity to the airport experience.

The terminal’s departure level features – amongst the usual amenities – 340 different species of plants, including fig trees from neighboring countries China and India. As travelers approach the terminal, they are greeted with a greenwall façade made up of 16,000 plants.

But that’s not all.

The new terminal offers what has been dubbed a ‘contactless experience’, eschewing regular human touch points for automated check-in, bag drop and security clearance via facial scanning technology. Automatic cleaning robots and baggage-handling vehicles roam the hallways. The airport infrastructure of the future has arrived.

“Security checks are centralised instead of being done at the boarding gates and for the first time at Changi, the new terminal will include a facial recognition system to ensure that the same traveller moves from the first to last stop. The push to be efficient is critical for Changi which competes fiercely with other airports in the region, all vying for a share of Asia’s fast growing air travel market,” said The Straits Times.

The Jewel in the Crown

The next airport project to watch out for is the Jewel, scheduled to open in 2019. Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the mammoth structure being built in front of Terminal 1 will include Singapore’s largest hedge maze, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, sculptured fun slides and life-size animal topiaries.

If it sounds more like an amusement park than an airport, that’s because it is. A 10-storey, $1.7 billion amusement park, seamlessly connected to Singapore Changi’s existing terminals.

The following airlines are moving to Changi Terminal 4: Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines.

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as €600 in compensation if your flight was delayed, cancelled or overbooked within the last three years.