By Will Lee
Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal Two Reopens
Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal Two will resume its operations on May 29 after a two years hiatus. In the wake of the pandemic, airport officials closed Terminal Two in May 2020, so they could enhance its facilities. The terminal was initially expected to be closed for 18 months, but the low travel demand deferred the reopening. The phased reopening will meet the surge in travel demand during the upcoming summer holidays.
The upgraded terminal will have a larger arrival immigration hall with automated immigration lanes, hosting mainly peak-hour arrival flights of airlines operating in Terminal Three as well. The entire terminal expansion will be completed by 2024. The terminal is expected to increase the passenger capacity by five million passengers to 28 million annually.
“CAG (Changi Airport Group) is encouraged to see the strong pickup in travel demand and has worked closely with our partners to bring forward the progressive reopening of T2 ahead of the June travel peak to meet this demand,” Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s Executive Vice President of Airport Management, said.
In addition, Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal Five project will be resumed after suspending for two years due to the pandemic. The government will remobilize the new terminal’s design and engineering consultants progressively. S. Iswaran, Transport Minister of Singapore, believed the construction will be commenced in two to three years and the new terminal could meet the future demand,
Paving The Way For Post-Pandemic Era
The Terminal Five portion — part of the “Changi East” project — has been suspended due to the pandemic.
According to airport officials, “Changi East” will be the most significant expansion project. The project will consist of equivalent to 667 soccer fields, which includes Terminal Five, a three-runway system, the construction of tunnels, other underground systems, landside and aviation facilities and the Changi East Industrial Zone.
Terminal Five was scheduled to be completed around 2030. It can handle up to 50 million passengers annually in the early phase. Also, the existing military runway will be modified for joint military-civilian use, consisting of an extension from 2.75 to four kilometers. Under the three-runway system, almost 40 kilometers of new taxiways will be built to connect the runway with the rest of the airport.
The government has aimed the passenger volume of Changi could reach 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. However, April’s passenger volume has already reached 40% of pre-pandemic levels. It came after the country had reopened its border on April 1, and fully vaccinated travelers could arrive in Singapore without quarantine. The airport has revealed its passenger traffic was only 20% of 2019 in March.
In response to the latest travel boom, the airport and its stakeholders started hiring 6,600 employees to meet the demand surge.