The island state of Singapore is hardly a dot on the world map, but it has certainly been making its mark on the world. For a country that in the year 2015 welcomed 55.4 million passengers by air, its airport is an extremely busy one!
Yet, Changi Airport must be well equipped to meet passenger expectations since they voted it the World’s Best Airport in Skytrax’s annual 2016 World Airport Awards.
The awards are based on 13.25 million customer nominations across 106 nationalities of air travellers, and included 550 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport service and product from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration, through to departure at the gate.
This is the seventh time and the fourth consecutive year that Changi Airport has won the World’s Best Airport award. It was also awarded Best Airport in Asia, and Best Airport for Leisure Amenities at the 2016 awards ceremony.
If you have yet to visit or spend much time at Changi Airport, which turns 35 years old this year, here are three things about the airport that probably earned from its passengers to bag the awards.
REST & RELAX
Have a few hours to spare before your flight and would like to get some down time? There is no need to travel far, as there are various leisure options in all the airport’s terminals.
Sun worshippers can bask in tropical sunlight on the rooftop swimming pool located next the Aerotel Transit Hotel at Terminal 1. Possibly the only airport rooftop swimming pool in the world, it provides a view of the runway tarmac from the far corner of the pool. Full shower facilities are also available here.
Movie buffs can catch the latest releases at the 24-hour movie theatres located in Terminal 2 and 3. The wide aisles enable luggage trolleys to be parked in front of the seats. There is also a large digital clock next the movie screen that enables passengers to keep track of time so that they board their flight on time.
Families with children are not forgotten! While your little ones have fun, parents can relax at the rest areas located next to the playgrounds. Some of these rest areas also have foot massage machines, enabling parents to give their tired feet a rest while keeping a watchful eye on their kids.
How about a facial or a beauty makeover before you board your flight? At the Shilla Beauty Loft duplex in Terminal 3, refresh your skin with a facial at the SK-II PITERA Lounge or receive a complimentary makeup session at Dior.
BRINGING NATURE IN
Changi Airport has an innovative way of brightening up its terminals—by letting nature in.
One way this is achieved is the use of computerised louvers for the roof of Terminal 3. The louvers are programmed to respond to the intensity of light from outside the terminal, thus regulating the amount of natural light that illuminates the terminal. On overcast days, they open wider to allow more sunlight in, while on brighter days they open slightly. This innovation provides energy savings for the airport, as the use of fluorescent lighting is reduced.
Another way that nature is brought in is by using real trees, plants and flowers for vertical green walls and belts, as well as flora displays in the public and transit areas. Not convinced that the plants and flowers are real? Go ahead and touch them! Or you can also head to the indoor butterfly garden where more than 1000 butterflies flitter among the nature that surrounds them.
The choice of using real plants over plastic plants shows the airport’s commitment to nurturing nature, which complements the Garden City image of Singapore. The plants and flowers are all supplied by the airport’s own nursery, where 10 professional horticulturists and 150 gardeners tend to their growth and care.
WHAT A GREAT VIEW
This may come across as slightly odd, but the general passenger feedback has been of delight: Walk into the rest rooms of Changi Airport and be greeted with great views of the runway.
Those in the transit area of Terminal 1 have a strategic location with a view of the airplane contact stands to its left and right. The wall-to-ceiling glass walls allow passengers to watch planes taxi in and out of the area, from within the toilet. This really gives the term ‘toilet break’ a whole new meaning!
Do check out these features on your next visit to Changi Airport in Singapore. You can even share your experience with other travelers of the airport by taking a photograph and uploading it to The Social Tree in Terminal 1.