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A new milestone for Changi Airport Terminal 1

Press release   •   Jul 12, 2012 17:10 +08

Fresh new look for Changi’s Grand Dame after four years of upgrading works

This month, Changi Airport Group (CAG) proudly marks a new milestone for Terminal 1 (T1), the Grand Dame of Singapore Changi Airport.   Upgrading works for Changi’s oldest terminal have been completed and a completion ceremony will take place on 18 July 2012.

Started in May 2008, the S$500 million T1 upgrading project has given the terminal a fresh and rejuvenated look.  Works were carried out to refurbish the terminal’s interior design and finishes, as well as improve passenger flow at key areas such as the Departure Check-in Hall, Departure Transit Mall and Arrival Hall.  About 22,000 sqm have also been added to the building, bringing the total floor space of T1 to about 308,000 sqm.  The larger floor area provides for more spatial comfort, better passenger flow, additional facilities and expanded retail and F&B offerings.  

A tropical city under one roof
Developed on the thematic concept of a ‘Tropical City’, the upgraded T1 reflects Singapore’s reputation as a garden city.  Improvements to the façade and terminal facilities were done with the aim of improving the airport experience for passengers.  Changes were made to the layout of the terminal, with the introduction of better way-finding elements.  Added to this, higher ceilings, improved lighting, wider thoroughfares and thoughtful landscaping have all contributed to a high quality experience that is synonymous with the Changi Experience.  

A major challenge facing the project engineers was to carry out the upgrading even as T1 remained operational.  This meant that works had to be done in phases during the four-year period to accommodate the different operational requirements of the terminal’s users.  A total of 1.5 million man-hours were utilised during the project, and at its peak, 385 workers could be found onsite at the terminal, toiling round the clock to ensure that inconveniences were kept to a minimum.  Details of the key upgrading works are in the Annex.

A highlight of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall is the addition of the world’s largest kinetic art sculpture.  Known as Kinetic Rain, this sculpture is made up of a total of 1,216 bronze droplets, moving in synchrony to a specially choreographed dance every day.  The official video can be found at

Preparing for the future
To enable Changi Airport’s continued growth, CAG is embarking on plans to develop the existing open-air car park fronting T1 into an aviation-related mixed-use complex, in a project that will increase T1’s handling capacity by 14% to 24 million passengers per annum.  As part of this project, some of the public areas of the T1 building will be expanded, allowing for more space for aviation facilities such as the baggage claim hall, arrival hall, car park and taxi bays.

The needs of today’s travellers have evolved and it is important for Changi Airport to keep up-to-date with these changes in order to remain relevant to passengers.  Hence, the mixed-use complex will host facilities for travel segments such as fly-cruise and fly-coach which are increasingly popular.

Focus on heartware too
Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer, Changi Airport Group said, “Terminal 1 holds a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans given its long history.  We are pleased to have retained its heritage while preparing it for the future.  With a contemporary ambience and improved facilities, passengers and visitors will continue to have a world class airport experience in T1.

“The upgrading of T1 would not have been possible without the strong support of everyone in the airport community.  We thank all of them for their understanding and cooperation during the upgrading period.”  

Mr Lee added, “At CAG, we believe in the importance of constant rejuvenation in order to keep the Changi Experience refreshing.  With this in mind, we are embarking on the implementation of various enhancements and improvements around Changi Airport to meet the changing needs of our customers and prepare for future growth.  

“While infrastructure upgrades are important, we place a strong emphasis on ‘heartware’ too.  With our airport partners, our focus will also continue to be on ensuring that the Changi Service DNA – personalised, stress-free and positively surprising, is infused in the airport experience at Changi.”

About Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) ( was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009.  As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.

Changi Airport ( is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport's four terminals.  Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record.  Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide.  A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.

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