New, $944 million terminal opens at world's best airport

The airport rated the world's best has just become even bigger, and better.

Singapore's Changi Airport on Tuesday opened its new Terminal 4 for business, with the first flight, a Cathay Pacific plane from Hong Kong, which arrived at 5.25am.

Nine airlines, all Asia-based, will move to the new T4 terminal, starting with Cathay Pacific and Korean Air. By the end of the terminal's first day of operation, about 4200 passengers from 19 flights had used the terminal.

About 3000 staff will work at the terminal once all the airlines have moved across.

The creation of the new terminal has been a long process. First announced in 2012, the building is located on the site of the former Budget Terminal, which was demolished later that year.

The new $SG985 million ($944 million) terminal has a capacity to serve 16 million passengers a year, taking Changi's overall capacity to 82 million and placing it among the world's busiest airports. The terminal covers about 225,000 square metres, roughly the size of 27 football fields.

Passengers will enjoy a variety of new features to keep them entertained and comfortable while transiting through Terminal 4. A giant 70 metre by five metre LED screen will keep passengers entertained as they queue to pass through security, while inside the terminal there is a themed zone, where the airport shops feature (Chinese Singaporean) heritage-themed facades. Here passengers can also enjoy a live theatre production, Peranakan Love Story.

There are also 62 new shops at the terminal along with 19 food and beverage options. This includes a "live roti prata station", where a chef will whip up the popular Indian pancake on demand for customers.

Terminal 4 is one of two major projects happening at the airport. The other is Project Jewel - a giant doughnut-shaped glass dome that will connect terminals 1, 2 and 3 via glass walkways.

The five-storey structure is being built over the previous site of Terminal 1's carpark. Its central feature will be a large waterfall, along with a large indoor garden. The building is scheduled to open in early 2019.

Changi was named the world's best airport in the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards for 2017, the fifth year in a row it has taken out the award. It's the eighth time Changi has won the award since they were first introduced in 2000.

In August, Qantas announced it would no longer fly its A380s from Sydney to London via Dubai and return to flying via Singapore's Changi. The change will take effect from March next year, the same month the airline's non-stop flights from Perth to London take off.

See: World's best airports named

See: Airport holiday - what it's like to spend 24 hours straight at Changi Airport

Take a look at the gallery above to see Terminal 4 along with the designs for Project Jewel.

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