Getting everything working well is hard enough, but beyond that airports like Changi get it right by incorporating the local culture into the ecosystem, without too many gimmicks.
What does it even mean to be the best airport in the world? Efficiency is certainly at the top of the list….But those tasks are the baseline; any airport, in theory, should be able to get them right. Being the best requires more… the best terminals “anticipate what your needs are when you need them.”
Somehow Singapore’s Changi airport authority has managed to embed the island nation’s oxymoronic culture — call it technocratic humanism — into a transportation facility….No, Singapore’s airport isn’t as overtly futuristic as Seoul’s Incheon, nor does it have the calculated coziness of Amsterdam’s Schiphol. But it is of a piece with its city, at once hyper-organized and packed with carefully crafted pleasures.
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