What Does The Future Hold For Singapore Changi Airport?

Consistently ranked among the top three airports in the world, and occasionally crowned with the top spot, Singapore Changi and its amenities have essentially become a destination in and of itself. Home to Singapore Airlines, this expansive facility is also host to a wide array of amenities, from shopping and dining, to an open-air pool and its famous “Jewel” canopy park. But what does the future hold for an airport that has already achieved so much?

The future looks bright for Changi Airport. Photo: Changi Airport Group

Sitting down for an interview with Simple Flying during our Future Flying Forum in November, Jayson Goh, Managing Director of Airport Operations at Changi, discussed COVID’s impact on the airport while also sharing some of the exciting new initiatives coming soon to the Southeast Asian airport.

Increased digitization

When discussing the future of Changi Airport, an increased level of digitization was an important topic of discussion. Of course, the increased use of technology is not just a future concept but something already taking place at the airport. Indeed, this is quickly becoming something that travelers are expecting, as Mr Goh states:

“But we’re getting even faster, not just from an operational front, but also from the way we connect to passengers. Everyone has become very tech-savvy, and the expectations of travelers that the airport is equipped with digital platforms that ease their travel processes as they move through the airport, I guess, continue to increase.”

Goh notes that even before the global health crisis hit, Changi was already going through its digitalization journey. Indeed, new digital capabilities and platforms were being rolled out at Changi’s various terminals at different paces. Goh notes that COVID not only helped the airport to accelerate the deployment of various digital platforms, but it forced the implementation of new tech-based approaches.

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Preflight security screenings may soon have an appointment-based feature at Changi Airport. Photo: Singapore Airlines

Contactless check-in has been in place at many airports for years now, but Goh notes that Changi is transforming another big part of the airport process: the security screening.

“[It’s a] new thing called the Changi queue, which is actually a digital queue that [allows] people to book their time for preboarding screening through security, so that you get to the security gate at the time that you’ve booked.”

In having reserved slots for security screenings, it is hoped that the “bunching of travelers” coming in for screening simultaneously can be reduced. “It minimizes the chance that [travelers] will actually be messing around with a large bunch of people,” says Goh.

A focus on traveler wellness

A focus on the well-being of travelers is perhaps one of the main reasons that Changi Airport is always at or near the top of the list of the world’s best airports, as Goh emphasizes:

“Traveling, especially for long-haul travelers is very tiring. And sometimes, travelers find difficulty in adjusting to time zone changes, and changes in sleep patterns. Sometimes people have anxiety. So this part about wanting to create a stress-free experience for passengers has always been a key part and key element of design for the channel experience.”

What Does The Future Hold For Singapore Changi Airport?
One of the best airport greenspaces globally can be found at the Changi Jewel with its massive indoor waterfall. Photo: Matteo Morando via Wikimedia Commons 

Goh says that the airport is looking at ways and means to boost the overall wellness of airport travelers when they travel to and through Changi. This includes establishing more greenspaces and even outdoor activities. Introducing a greater variety of cuisines and catering to more specific diets is another focus for the airport as it looks to boost traveler wellness.

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Reducing the carbon footprint

The airport is also working hard to reduce its carbon footprint. Goh notes that Changi is evaluating the feasibility of increasing the coverage of solar panels for more clean energy usage. In terms of reducing energy usage, the airport is looking at installing more efficient air conditioning systems.

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A three-person team, including a certified arborist, takes care of all the landscape needs in Jewel. Photo: Changi Airport

The future seems quite bright for Changi. With its numerous initiatives to make the travel experience even better and its focus on the well-being of passengers, the airport should remain one of the world’s best facilities for many more years to come.

What do you think of Changi’s various initiatives and its future plans? Let us know by leaving a comment.