SOME travellers turned up at the wrong terminal but apart from the minor confusion, Changi Airport's Terminal 3 got off to a glitch-free start when it opened for business on Wednesday.
First to land at the spanking new $1.75 billion facility at 11.50am was Singapore Airlines Flight 001 which came in from San Francisco via Hong Kong.
Transport Minister Raymond Lim and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) director-general Lim Kim Choon, were there to welcome the more than 350 passengers.
Mr Lim later told reporters that the new terminal, which will increase the airport's annual handling capacity to about 70 million passengers, puts Changi in a good position to tap on the region's growth.
He said: 'Air travel in the Asia-Pacific is expected to be robust in the years ahead and with Terminal 3, Changi Airport will be in a strong position to benefit from this.'
The opening of the new seven-storey facility will also help strengthen Singapore's aviation hub status, he said.
SIA is the first carrier to operate out of Terminal 3.
On Wednesday, there were 27 departures and 37 arrival flights - about half the total operations of the Singapore carrier which continues to also operate out of Terminal 2.
Four other airlines - China Eastern, Qatar Airways, Jet Airways and United - will join SIA at the new facility around March.
At 380,000sqm, Terminal 3 is Changi's biggest. Terminal 2 covers 358,000sqm, and Terminal 1, just over 280,000sqm.
Travellers - even those who went to the wrong terminal at first - gave the new kid on the block two thumbs up.
Miss Louise McCarthy, 26, a beauty therapist living in London turned up at Terminal 2 but was told by airport guides deployed by the CAAS that her flight was taking off at the new terminal instead.
It was a small problem as she and her companion got to the new terminal 'very quickly' by skytrain.
The rest including the checking-in was a breeze she said, adding: 'The system is really efficient. Terminal 3 is very impressive - very spacious and airy. It is definitely unlike Heathrow, which is so busy all the time.'
Ms Ng Lee Hong, 44, a business director at United States-based Agilent Technologies which specialises in measurement tools for industry use said: 'As someone who travels regularly, it's the little things that impress me.
'For example, when I stepped off the aeroplane ramp into the airport, I noticed that the carpeting was especially soft. After flying for 20 hours, any sort of comfort is welcome, no matter how small.'
SIA spokesman Stephen Forshaw said that while every effort will be made to ensure that travellers get to the right terminal, some minor confusion is unavoidable in the early days.
But to put things in perspective, even if people do end up at the wrong terminal, it takes no more than two or three minutes to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 via the new People Mover System.