SINGAPORE - AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled for Changi's mega new air terminal to cater for up to 50 million passengers a year, as Singapore moves decisively to seal the airport's premier hub status.
Terminal 5, which is slated for completion around 2025, will be bigger than the current Terminals 2 and 3 put together. It will take the form of either a huge single terminal building, or a smaller facility linked to a satellite terminal via an underground rail link.
T5 will be located at Changi East, in an area now separated from the current terminals by Changi Coast Road. It will be linked to the rest of the airport and possibly house its own MRT station in future.
When completed, the giant addition will boost Changi Airport's maximum capacity to 135 million passengers a year, rivalling the busiest airports today.
This includes London's Heathrow, which handles about 70 million passengers a year.
Announcing the latest plans at a media briefing on Friday, Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, who leads a 10-member multi-agency committee looking into Changi's expansion, said the future is not just about growing in size. "We want to make it a better air hub," she said.
"The more cities that we are linked to, the more frequent the flights and the more efficient the transfers, then the greater the convenience that we can offer to passengers and the better we are as an air hub."
Industry watchers have said that this expansion is essential because many rival air hubs, including those in Asia, are planning to boost capacity in the coming years. So Changi must move quickly to capture a share of Asia's growing traffic and enhance capacity so that it can "build on its current leadership position", said Mrs Teo.