Singapore's sprawling Changi Airport is set to get bigger – much bigger – with the opening of a new T5 terminal built to handle as many as 50 million passengers per year.
The city-state's Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew confirmed plans for the new super-sized T5 facility overnight, although the terminal won't open until sometime in the next decade.
Construction of a fourth terminal for the airport is still underway, with T4 – built on the footprint of Changi's old Budget terminal – due to begin operation in 2017.
Specific details on T5 are expected to be unveilled by year's end as part of Changi's long-term masterplan.
However, it's tipped that three of the terminals could become home for all airlines belonging to a specific alliance such as oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam in order to speed connections, minimise transfers and boost shared facilities such as lounges.
Singapore Airlines is likely to be T5's foundation customer, in which case T5 would also be the natural home for SQ's Star Alliance partners such as ANA, Lufthansa, SWISS, Thai Airways and United.
"Going forward, I think if we got more terminals, we are going to see Sky Team at one terminal, One World at another and Star Alliance at another" predicts Leithen Francis, Asia editor of Aviation Week.
"We are not going to have a situation which we see at the moment where some Star Alliance carriers are at Terminal 2 and some at Terminal 1, and some at Terminal 3, and they kind of spread around" Francis told ChannelNewsAsia.
"They will be able to have their lounges near one another so that the passengers will have a much more seamless experience when you fly in on one airline and you transfer to another, which is part of the same alliance."
Noting what he described as "fundamental shifts" in the global aviation landscape, Lui said "Changi Airport needs to respond to these changes, and take advantage of them where we can, to capture our share of the growing pie and cement our position as a leading aviation hub."
Plans are also being drawn up to expand the airport's third runway, which is currently dedicated to the Singapore Air Force, for use by commercial flights.
Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter