SINGAPORE: Relocation of Paya Lebar Airbase will be a long term and complex undertaking that will be realised at about 2030 and beyond, said Mininster of Defence Ng Eng Hen.
He was answering MP Christopher de Souza's Parliamentary questions on the progress of the relocation of the airbase and when is it expected to be completed.
In Dr Ng's written answer, he said that Changi Airbase East and Tengah Airbase will both have to be expanded to accommodate various assets and facilites to replace Paya Lebar Airbase.
"This ensures that the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) operational readienss to defend our skies is not compromised," wrote Dr Ng.
He added that the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) has been working closely with the Ministry of National Development and other relevant agencies on the planning and implementation details associated with the relocation.
The current focus is on expanding Changi Airbase East and building a new runway at Changi.
Dr Ng said that construction of facilites there will commence after detailed site surveys and land preparation works are completed.
As for Tengah Airbase, the current effort is on the detailed airbase facility design, said Dr Ng.
In his National Day Rally speech in 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that a new military base and a fourth runway will be built at Changi East.
Paya Lebar Airbase will be moved there later on. This will free up an area bigger than Bishan and Toa Payoh - around 800 ha - for new homes, offices and factories.
Relocating the airbase also removes height restrictions around Paya Lebar and frees up the authorities to develop new plans for the eastern part of Singapore.