Singapore’s Changi Airport to get new T5 ‘mega-terminal’

When it opens in the 2030s, Terminal 5 will be larger than the other four terminals combined.

By David Flynn, May 18 2022
Singapore’s Changi Airport to get new T5 ‘mega-terminal’

Singapore’s sprawling Changi Airport is set to get bigger – much bigger – as work resumes on the new Terminal 5, built to handle as many as 50 million passengers per year.

Initially scheduled to open around 2030, the footprint of T5 will be bigger than the existing terminals 1 through 4 combined.

The main Changi T5 terminal will be connected to the current terminals via a series of tunnels for easier airside connections and passenger transit; tunnels will also link the primary T5 to a pair of satellite terminals. All up, the T5 precinct will add over 100 departure gates to Changi.

The T5 precinct will be built on a 1,080ha greenfield site to the east of the airport, next to a planned third runway previously used by the military and extended from 2.75km to 4km to handle modern commercial aircraft.

Work on T5 was halted two years ago as the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out travel, but the government is now readying a reboot of the $10bn project.

“Given the current and projected recovery in air travel demand, we have a renewed impetus to secure our infrastructural capacity for growth,” Transport Minister S. Iswaran said at the Changi Aviation Summit in the city-state on Tuesday. 

“We have taken the opportunity of the two-year hiatus to comprehensively review the T5 design to make it more modular and flexible, and enhance its resilience and sustainability (and) re-mobilise the design and engineering consultants progressively, to update and further refine the T5 design.”

Actual building works are expected to commence in about two to three years, he said, so that the terminal will be “ready to meet the anticipated demand around the mid-2030s”.

The International Air Transport Association forecasts that passenger air traffic in the Asia-Pacific will grow at 4.5 per cent annually over the next 20 years, “effectively doubling volume over the next two decades", he added.

Iswaran earlier confirmed plans to “progressively open” Terminal 2 over the course of 2022, following upgrade work carried out across T2 during the pandemic.

Terminal 4 remains closed, with its airlines still flying from T1 or T3, but Iswaran maintains T4 can be reopened at relatively short notice should demand require it.

"What we really need to do is make sure that we are now at the next quantum leap in the flow of passengers.”

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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