Mega expansion plans for Changi Airport

SINGAPORE - Plans for Changi Airport's biggest expansion in more than three decades will be released next month.

The project includes the construction of Terminal 5 (T5) - the airport's biggest passenger facility - a third runway for commercial flights, cargo complexes and other supporting infrastructure.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to unveil the plans during his National Day Rally speech, insiders said.

Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, who leads a 10-member multi-agency committee that has been working on the blueprint for around 18 months, revealed few details when she met reporters on Thursday.

"You will hear more about it during the National Day Rally," she said, adding that the information released would not just be about T5 but "other things related to Changi's development".

Mrs Teo said the committee has done a "major part" of its work, although details such as cost are still being worked out.

Changi's future facilities will be constructed on a 1,000ha piece of land - about three-quarters the size of the current airport premises.

The site is currently separated from the existing airport by Changi Coast Road.

The development of Changi East "is no less ambitious" than the first development of Changi Airport during the 1970s, Mrs Teo said in a speech at the opening of a three-day aviation exhibition and job fair at Singapore Expo.

But unlike then, there are now other air hubs in the region that are also keen to expand and enhance their positions, she stressed.

Hong Kong, for example, is planning a third runway and boosting terminal capacity to handle about 100 million passengers a year by 2030.

Malaysia is investing heavily to attract more high-value aerospace investments, while South Korea's Incheon Airport is turning into an "airport city", with recreational facilities such as a fashion complex and amusement park.

This means that Changi Airport must strive to not only improve infrastructure but also build new capabilities to retain an edge, Mrs Teo said.

Talent will be key to supporting the growing industry and she encouraged young Singaporeans to "seriously consider" joining the business.

The Aviation Open House, which is organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore every two years, brings together more than 45 industry players, including airlines, tertiary institutions and aircraft maintenance firms.

More than 800 visitors are expected over the three days.

First-year Institute of Technical Education student Jason Liew, 17, is pursuing an aerospace course and is already looking forward to graduating and starting work.

"I hope to make it to the polytechnic and become an aircraft engineer," he said. "I definitely want to work on the Airbus 380 superjumbo and Boeing 787 Dreamliner."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.