Sunday, November 18, 2007
I'll Be Back!
We had a family outing to see T3.
No, not the movie Terminator 3, it would have been years ago since it came to theaters in Singapore.
I would be living in the past then... well, I have been for much of the time anyway, come to think of it. Never mind...
I am talking about the new Terminal 3 of Changi International Airport Open House.
To be operational come 9 Jan 2008, the place is huge! As big as 63 football fields, this 380,000 square metres airport has two distinct features I quickly noticed when I first stepped into it.
We took bus Service 34 from our home, and alighted right at T3 underground bus terminal after a 15 minutes ride. Awesomely convenient for our frequent overseas travels!
Once at the Check-in Hall, one cannot but notice the huge interior with high ceiling.
The two most distinctive features of this airport to are the light and heat regulated ceilings and the Green Wall.
With its hundreds of plate-like reflectors, the ceiling is computer controlled for the correct amount of natural light to pass through the entire hall but with minimal heat.
The Green Wall is huge, at 300 metres long and 15 metres or 5 storeys high, this imposing feature wall will not escape any body's attention, especially with 26 types of creepers that will flower from time to time.
When it opens, it will have Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Qatar Airways, Jet Airways and China Eastern to operate their international flights from and gradually add on more airlines there.
Able to handle 8 Airbus A380 superjumbos amongst the many gates, the place is plush yet minimalistic with its use of glass, steel and timber... and lots of foliage. Tall palms to be exact.
Paid S$3.00 each for a 45-minute guided tour of its facilities including the restricted area, it was quite a let down when my Son and I learned that we could not go to the automatic baggage-handling conveyor system that can handle 10,000 luggages in an hour.
The airport actually encourages people to come and check-in early... several hours early in fact as there are just too many things that one can do, like shopping, watching free movies, free internet access and computer games.
Sports fans can watch free sports channels on big and plush couches in front of a large screen LCD TV. There are clusters of such facilities found interspersed within the restricted departure hall.
To seek some solitude there, a large indoor Koi pond is there to gaze and lost in thoughts, though the inhabitants are just not there yet.
A large outdoor butterfly sanctuary is situated next to the Koi pond will especially interest the children, when they bring in the insect to call it their home. Else the children can spent their energies at several of the children's playgrounds there.
There are endless specialty and branded shops as there are pubs and sit-in and fast food restaurants. There are hotels and spas there for transit passengers too. It is like a city within a departure hall without ever the need to leave the airport.
And if you do get bored while on transit, hop on for a free city and shopping tour if you have several hours to kill.
Though still sparse, it will be a great place to spend some indoor family time when it actually opens early next year. I would have spent a longer time if not for the tired pair of legs from all the walking.
I will be posting more photos from the visit. I will be back!