Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 is finally fully operational again today, introducing a dazzling array of new features and facilities.
The terminal underwent a massive upgrade that was completed ahead of schedule, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project added an extra 21,000 square meters of space and increased the terminal’s capacity by five million passengers per year – taking the airport’s total handling capacity across its four terminals up to 90 million passengers per year.
The timing couldn’t be better, as Changi Airport has seen its passenger traffic bounce back to 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels as of September 2023. The airport expects to fully recover by next year, and Terminal 2 is poised to be able to handle the surge.
Sixteen airlines will operate at Terminal 2, connecting travelers to 40 destinations around the world.
The upgrade project started in January 2020, before Singapore shut its borders due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The terminal closed for works in May 2020, and was supposed to reopen in 18 months. However, the pandemic delayed the limited reopening until May 2022 for arrivals and October 2022 for departures.
The revamped Terminal 2 is designed to immerse visitors in a natural wonderland, with lush greenery, ceiling designs inspired by landforms, and wall finishes that mimic rock formations.
But nature is not just a visual theme here. It’s also a digital spectacle. The centerpiece of the departure hall is The Wonderfall, a 14-meter-tall display that shows a waterfall cascading over rocks.
The terminal also boasts a state-of-the-art Fast and Seamless Travel zone, where passengers can check in, drop their bags, and clear immigration using automated machines. Terminal 2 is the first Changi terminal to have special lanes for people with disabilities and young children at both arrival and departure immigration.
Another innovation is the fully automated early baggage storage system, which can store up to 2,400 bags at a time.
In the public area, pop culture fans can check out Funko, a store that sells collectible figurines of characters from movies, TV shows, games, and more. The store features Southeast Asia’s first Funko pop-up, where you can find a Merlion figurine among other icons.
Other local brands that have opened in the public area include Lynk Fragrances, Baker’s Well, and Cafe O. If you’re feeling hungry, you can also try Jones the Grocer or JINJJA Kitchen.
In the transit area, you can relax at Dreamscape, a garden that lets you walk on a transparent platform over a fish pond. You can also listen to the sounds of nature recorded from different parts of Singapore, such as Pulau Ubin. The fish pond is home to cichlids and aquatic plants.
Above the garden, you can gaze at a digital “sky” that shows real-time weather conditions based on the airport weather system. Sometimes, the sky turns into an underwater portal where you can see fish, otters and a sampan boat swimming above you.
The transit area also houses a new Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits store that spans two floors. The store has a robot bartender named Toni who can whip up cocktails for you. You can also sample 18 different whiskeys at the Forest of Li Bai lounge on the upper level.
For more dining options in the transit area, head to Gourmet Garden, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the airport runway while eating at Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, Hard Rock Cafe, The Hainan Story, The Satay Club by Harry’s or Boost.