Changi T5 to land by mid 2020s, capacity to handle 50m passenger movements a year

SINGAPORE - Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo unveiled plans for Changi Airport at a briefing on Friday afternoon. The future T5 will be linked to other airport terminals via underground tunnels so the expanded Changi Airport can be operated as a single, integrated airport with easy transfers between terminals, maximum convenience for passengers and efficient airfield operations.

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Here is the full statement from the Ministry of Transport:

More details on the expansion of Changi Airport, including the construction of a new mega-terminal and the implementation of a three-runway system, were announced by the Changi 2036 Steering Committee (SC) today.

Terminal 5 to handle 50 million passengers per annum

Minister of State for Finance and Transport Mrs Josephine Teo, Chairperson of the Changi 2036 SC, announced that Terminal 5 will be able to handle 50mppa initially. Based on current planning, it will be ready for operations in the mid-2020s.

Terminal 5 will be one of the largest terminals in the world. Two conceptual options for the layout of Terminal 5 have been developed with various considerations such as passenger convenience and airfield and terminal operations efficiency in mind.

Terminal 5 will be linked to the other terminals at Changi Airport.

This will allow the expanded Changi Airport to be operated as a single, integrated airport for ease of transfer between different terminals, maximum passenger convenience and airfield operational efficiency.

Mrs Teo said, "The Changi 2036 team was clear right from the start that our work is not only about airport expansion. It is also about a well-loved Singapore icon and how we keep Changi flying high. So we set our sights on creating a qualitatively better air hub."

Being a mega-terminal, Terminal 5 will introduce new modes of operation for the airport operator and government agencies, and other stakeholders such as airlines, ground handlers, air cargo operators and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service providers.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will be seeking views from these stakeholders over the next two months to further refine the layout. The Concept Plan is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2014.

Three-runway system to be implemented around 2020

A three-runway system will be implemented at Changi Airport around 2020.

The project will be complex, with extensive land preparation, such as clearance of existing vegetation, soil top-up and improvement works, having to be carried out first on the 1,080 hectare reclaimed site.

The existing Runway 3, currently used by the military, will be extended from 2.75km to 4km to handle larger passenger aircraft.

Almost 40km of new taxiways will also be built to connect the runway with the current airport and to allow for efficient aircraft movement.

New facilities such as navigation aids, airfield lighting systems and a fire station will need to be built as well.

Planning and preparatory works for the project have already started. For example, consultants are being appointed to advise on the specific land preparation works needed and to carry out various engineering studies.

Land earmarked for industrial facilities

Singapore's logistics and aerospace industries are projected to continue growing robustly, driven by growing intra-Asia trade and expanding fleets of Asian carriers, as well as Singapore's strategic location, strong connectivity and efficient infrastructure.

To support the long-term growth of these sectors, land has also been set aside to the north of the new Terminal 5 for facilities for airfreight and air express operators as well as MRO activities.

Ground connectivity to be enhanced

In order to create a contiguous and integrated airfield, the existing Changi Coast Road and the park connector beside it will be replaced with a new at-grade road and park connector further east, along the eastern coastline. Works are expected to start in the second half of 2014.

For good ground connectivity, the road infrastructure will be improved to ensure convenient access to Terminal 5. The terminal will also be connected to the MRT network. More details will be released after engineering studies are completed.

The adequacy of bus services to the airport will also be reviewed. These plans will ensure that all airport users and staff are able to travel to the airport easily and conveniently.

A better air hub; a path to new opportunities

Changi Airport currently has three terminals, two runways and a total passenger handling capacity of 66mppa.

It will have four terminals and three runways with a total capacity of 85mppa by around 2020. When Terminal 5 starts operations in the mid-2020s, Changi Airport will have five terminals with a combined capacity of 135mppa.

Mrs Teo said the developments at Changi East require careful coordination and will stretch over several terms of government.

"For passengers, Changi must mean superior connectivity, convenience and comfort. So these plans are significant because they strengthen our air hub.

"But there is also special meaning for Singaporeans. Changi connects us to the world and the plans open the path to new business and job opportunities. That is really the bigger story to be told."