Singapore’s airport is the best on the planet


Singapore has unveiled a five-storey airport terminal that is the size of 27 football fields and cost £544m to build. The title of world’s best airport (as judged by the Skytrax World Airport awards) wasn’t quite enough for Changi, so it added the new building with the aim of accommodating its ever-increasing footfall, which now stands at 82 million people a year.

Terminal 4, which opened on 31 October, offers the main thing I want after a long-haul flight: a “contactless experience”, whereby passengers don’t have to so much as meet eyes with another human being. In the new building, security checks are automated, thanks to face scanning; futuristic cleaning robots keep things tidy; and mechanised systems transport your luggage, putting the need for staff at an unprecedented minimum.

Having travelled through Singapore this summer, I can confirm that Changi was already fab: it had a Nando’s, an in-house spa and carpets straight out of Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Now, there is even more. The new terminal has been revamped with 340 species of plant, an “avenue of trees” and large, suspended sculptures, inspired by orchids. There is a live theatre production, called Peranakan Love Story, for which we await reviews.

However, it seems none of this is enough to end the international airport willy-waving contest. Building on Terminal 4 will continue until 2019, by which time it will be home to a rainforest with the world’s biggest indoor waterfall. There will also be a series of mazes, in case getting lost while you are waiting for a flight seems like a good idea.


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