SINGAPORE - Singapore is embarking on the largest expansion of its iconic Changi Airport and the plans include two new terminals and a complex codenamed Jewel that will adorn the east with its shops, restaurants and indoor garden.
Terminal 4 will be ready by 2017. When Terminal 5 is completed in about a decade, it will double the airport's existing capacity of 66 million passengers a year.
"And we have one more trick, outside T1," Mr Lee said. "We will build something special."
Where an open-air carpark now sits in front of the airport's first and oldest terminal, a multi- storey complex codenamed Jewel will be built.
"So we have Gardens by the Bay, this one is Gardens at the Airport!" Mr Lee said.
He also announced plans to move Paya Lebar Airbase to Changi East after 2030. That will free 800ha of land, bigger than the size of Ang Mo Kio, for new homes, offices and factories.
The moving of the military facility, which is the largest of four airbases run by the Republic of Singapore Air Force, will also remove height restrictions on large areas around Paya Lebar.
This "frees us to develop new, exciting plans for the big chunk of eastern Singapore... You are talking about 2030 and beyond and it won't fully happen for maybe 20, 30 years after that... But the potential is there. We can dream."
A fourth runway will also be built at Changi East - the location for the airport's future Terminal 5. Changi is expanding to meet growing traffic but so are other airports, Mr Lee stressed.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi are gearing up to serve 100 million passengers each a year.