Airports have become more than just places to twiddle your thumbs while waiting for a flight. Luxurious opulence, spectacular architectural design and unbelievable amenities are the order of the day. Check out these jaw-dropping airport renovations.
Jewel Changi Airport, China
The $1.27 billion Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore just opened and puts any indoor garden to shame. The latticework of glass panels framed in steel will leave travelers in awe, as will the donut-shaped hub that connects three of the airport’s four terminals. Take in the magnificence of the Rain Vortex, the world's tallest indoor waterfall and the showpiece of the Jewel. Walk across the 150-foot-long suspended bridge with glass-panel flooring and explore the trails set amongst a lush jungle of animal-shaped topiaries in a five-story terraced garden. If that is not enough, you can glide down giant slides or hide in bowls of calming mist. You'll want to schedule a layover here.
Beijing Daxing International Airport, China
China has a reputation for going big with its architecture. The country boasts the world’s tallest observation deck at Shanghai Tower and the Canton Tower holds the record for the world’s highest Ferris wheel. In September of 2019, Beijing’s new Daxing Airport Terminal Building will claim the title as the world’s biggest airport.
Located less than 30 miles south of the capital, the Daxing terminal will take the load off of Beijing's overtaxed Capital International Airport. The new terminal will offer high-speed rail service to Beijing and eventually have space to serve a whopping 100 million passengers per year. Chinese media has nicknamed the airport the "starfish" because of the shape of its five concourses connected to the main hub. This distinctive design will reduce walking for its passengers, eliminating complaints travelers have against airport mega-hubs.
Istanbul Airport, Turkey
Istanbul’s new airport just opened after moving all operations from the city’s long-time airport — Atatürk International Airport. Once fully completed, the airport will be bigger than Manhattan and its six runways will make it the busiest airport in the world.
The architecture pays homage to the design elements of exotic Istanbul with the terminal reflecting the style of domed mosques and baths. The air traffic control tower’s tulip shaped-design is also reminiscent of traditional design elements of the city.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, India
Even though the amazing renovations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal 2, locally known as Sahar International Airport, are a few years old, its unique design has to make the list of jaw-dropping airport renovations. Architects have turned Terminal 2 into a feast for the eyes, and one can sit for hours and admire the creative masterpiece that is contained in the paneled cells of the canopy and interior of the terminal. This unique design refers to both the traditional Indian open-air pavilions and the arrangement of feathers in a peacock's tail.
Incheon International Airport, South Korea
The newly renovated international terminal at Incheon just opened last year and tops the list of most luxurious airport terminals in the world. It’s part amusement park, part high-end shopping destination and part entertainment mecca.
Learn about traditional Korean culture, take a chance at the casino, enjoy the movie theater, play a round of golf, go ice skating, enjoy traditional Korean cuisine or just relax at the spa. Yes, this is an airport terminal! You will not want to leave for your vacation when you can experience all this and more at Incheon International Airport.