SINGAPORE: There will soon be no more analogue flight information display boards at Changi Airport, after the last two of these iconic displays are removed to make way for electronic ones starting from February.
Also known as Solari boards, after the Italian company that first manufactured them, the displays are being replaced because it is becoming more challenging to maintain them, representatives from the Changi Airport Group told reporters on Thursday (Jan 16).
The parts have become increasingly difficult to source for, they said.
CAG said it intends to repurpose the boards, but was unable to provide more details.
The two boards have been at the departure hall in Terminal 2 since 1999 and are the only ones of their kind left at Changi Airport. The other three terminals are already equipped with electronic displays.
The board between check-in rows 9 and 10 will be decommissioned in February. The other board will follow suit as part of upgrading and expansion works at the 30-year-old terminal.
The works, which are scheduled to begin after the Chinese New Year Holidays, will also see the closure of the 16-year-old McDonald's outlet at the Terminal 2 arrival hall. The outlet will close on Jan 31, while the nearby Starbucks will cease operations in April.
Other restaurants in the public areas of the terminal will remain open until later phases of the upgrading works, CAG said.
TERMINAL 2 UPGRADING AND EXPANSION
The works are meant to boost the airport's capacity and improve passenger experience.
When upgrading is completed in 2024, Terminal 2 will have 15,500 sq m more space, boosting the airport's total capacity by 5 million passengers annually and allowing it to handle up to 90 million passengers a year.
Works will start with check-in rows 9 to 12 at the departure hall, which means some airlines will be shifted to alternative check-in rows.
The revamped departure hall will feature a more spacious common-use self-service check-in area with more automated check-in kiosks and bag drop machines. This is expected to increase the passenger handling capacity in the departure hall by up to 20 per cent.
Both the departure and arrival immigration halls will be expanded to allow for more automated immigration lanes.
To handle a higher volume of bags, two new baggage belts will be added, bringing the total number of belts to 10. Two existing baggage belts will be lengthened.
The early baggage storage system, where bags that are checked in early or where transfer bags with long connection times are stored, will be upgraded from a semi-automatic system to a fully automatic one, allowing about 2,300 bags to be stored at a time.
The upgrades will also see more greenery incorporated at various parts of the terminal - including the arrival, departure and transit areas - while the Orchid Garden at the departure transit area, which has been in place since 1997, will make way for a new garden with more plant species.
A duplex food and beverage area will be introduced at the north end of Terminal 2, leading to Jewel Changi Airport, while a new cluster of food kiosks will be introduced at the south end of the arrival hall.
Meanwhile more lounge-like waiting areas, similar to those at Terminal 4, will be included at the arrival hall.
The main contractor for the expansion works is Japanese firm Takenaka Corporation, which constructed Terminal 4 and is responsible for other upgrading works at the airport, including a S$323 million upgrade of Terminal 1 that began in 2015.
The project was designed by J H Boiffils, together with a panel of consultants led by RSP Architects Planners & Engineers.
CAG did not say how much the upgrading of Terminal 2 would cost.
Mr Tan Lye Teck, CAG executive vice-president of airport management, noted the terminal would still be operational even as works were ongoing.
He noted the different phases of upgrading would have to be coordinated to ensure passengers still had “a very nice passage” while travelling through Terminal 2.
“We’re going to take care to ensure safety, avoid disruption and minimise inconvenience,” he said.