Add a few gems to Jewel in the crown for Changi

Add a few gems to Jewel in the crown for Changi
Changi Airport Terminal 3 departure area.

SINGAPORE - What can a great airport like Changi do to be even better and win over transit passengers who are just passing through?

This is worth thinking about as the airport embarks on turning the carpark beside Terminal 1 into Project Jewel - an exciting new facility promising the best in leisure, shopping, food and beverage when it is ready by 2018.

Having won the world's Best International Transit Airport accolade at the 2012 World Airport Awards, Changi has an opportunity now to find more ways to hold on to that status.

The best airport race is a never-ending dogfight with hungry - and competent - competitors, from Dubai and Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong and Seoul.

The stakes are high, given the proliferation of budget airlines and a growing middle class in Asia boosting air travel in the region, and many countries are investing millions to position their airports as hubs.

While the new Jewel will have substantial space to pioneer shopping, dining and entertainment concepts, it can also do less-showy stuff that may win over transit passengers.

Their numbers are not small, given that they account for about 30 per cent of Singapore's air-hub traffic.

Many people travel widely and often these days and are exposed to many world-class airports.

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