Singapore Air Show

Changi Airport Outlines Expansion Plans

 - February 11, 2016, 8:25 AM

Changi Airport Group (CAG) is to expand Singapore’s International Airport to a capacity of 135 million passengers per year by around 2025, cementing the island state’s status as one of Asia’s leading hubs. Plans for the expansion through construction of the new Terminal 5 (T5), to be built on an unused 1,080-hectare site at Changi East, were announced by Transport Minister Liu Tuck Yew in 2013.

Much of the existing and new site is reclaimed land – Singapore has a policy of preparing land in advance to prevent infrastructure bottlenecks from hampering development. “Terminal 5 will increase Changi Airport’s total capacity to 135 million passengers per annum,” CAG said in a statement. “Set to be one of the largest terminals in the world, Terminal 5 will be capable of handling 50 million passengers per annum in its initial phase. It is scheduled for completion in the mid-2020s. There will be land for subsequent expansion,” it said.

Terminal 5 will be connected to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to allow the expanded airport to be operated as a single, integrated facility for ease of transfer between different terminals, passenger convenience and airfield operational efficiency, the Transport Ministry said. “Terminal 5 will be built in two phases, with the pace of construction dependent on air traffic growth,” it said.

The airport will see the introduction of a third runway, situated to the southeast of the airport, and currently used by the military, which will be lengthened from 2.75 km to 4 km (from 9,000 to 13,000 ft). “Changi Airport’s three-runway system will be ready by around 2020,” CAG said.

Current Changi capacity is 66 million, which will increase to 82 million in 2017 with the addition of Terminal 4 (T4), now under construction. “Construction for T4, our next terminal–to be completed in 2017–is progressing well and will enter into the operational testing stage sometime in 2016,” said Lee Ching Wern, CAG senior manager corporate communications.

Between January and October 2015, Changi Airport recorded 45.52 million passenger movements, 2.1 percent more than the year-earlier period. Cargo shipments were steady at 1.53 million metric tons while aircraft movements grew 1.2 percent to 286,980 for the same period. Changi was the 16th busiest airport in the world in 2014, with 54.09 million passengers, according to the Airports Council International.

As at November 1, 2015, more than 100 airlines were operating at the airport, connecting Singapore to some 320 cities in about 80 countries and territories worldwide. Changi sees more than 6,700 scheduled flights a week. Ground handling and flight catering are handled by SATS, with around 80 percent of the business, and Dnata.

A mixed-use area, Jewel Changi Airport, a joint venture between CAG (51 percent) and CapitaLand (49 percent), is expected to open in 2018 adjacent to Terminal 1. The development, with retail space, a hotel and facilities for airport operations, will have a total gross floor area of about 134,000 square meters, and 10 floors, with five levels below ground for parking.

While much of Singapore’s MRO business is associated with the growing business aviation airport at Seletar, Changi’s MRO cluster is home to more than 100 companies, capturing upwards of 20 percent of the Asia Pacific market.

Singapore Airlines’ MRO arm, SIA Engineering Co. (SIAEC), is the dominant player at Changi. Together with its 26 joint ventures and subsidiaries in nine countries, the SIAEC Group provides MRO services to the aircraft of more than 80 international airlines.

Group financial data showed 61 percent of revenue in repair and overhaul in the last full year, with 39 percent in line maintenance. In June, SIAEC renewed its maintenance contract with SilkAir for a further five years for its A319 and A320 fleet, a deal valued at US$139 million.

A major MRO facility, to be known as Changi East Industrial Zone, will be built to the northeast of the future T5. “To support the long-term growth of the logistics and aerospace industries, land will also be set aside to the north of T5 for air freight and air express operators as well as MRO activities,” CAG said.

Singapore’s previous civilian airport, at Paya Lebar, which replaced the original Kallang Airport in the city center, was converted to an airbase in 1981.