Building ahead of demand key for Changi Airport to keep up with competition: Khaw

Building ahead of demand key for Changi Airport to keep up with competition: Khaw

Building ahead of demand is important for Changi Airport to keep up with its competitors, Coordinating Minister of Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said on Friday (Aug 3). Gwyneth Teo has more with the story. 

SINGAPORE: Building ahead of demand is important for Changi Airport to keep up with its competitors, Coordinating Minister of Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said on Friday (Aug 3). 

In his speech at the official opening of Changi Airport’s Terminal 4, Mr Khaw stressed that projecting demand “is indeed one of Singapore’s economic success factors” in areas like aviation, maritime and industrial development. 

READ: Changi Airport unveils ‘chandelier-inspired’ playground at Terminal 4

t4 food
Shops at Changi Airport's Terminal 4. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

t4 deco
A view of Changi Airport's Terminal 4. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

rope playground at changi t4
A rope playground at Changi Airport's Terminal 4. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

“For global business, if you don’t have the capacity to serve, you lose business to your competitors. It’s as simple as that,” he said. 

READ: Why Singapore needs Changi Airport Terminal 5, to fly higher

Mr Khaw stressed that building ahead of demand “requires strong judgement” and not simply “build and they will come”. 

“The aviation industry is unpredictable, subject to many disruptions, including oil prices and at times, unhelpful governmental interventions. Adhering to straight line projections may end up with white elephants,” he said. 

“We must be sensitive to potential disruptions and be ready to make strategic changes promptly when warranted,” he added. 

T5 WILL BE CHANGI’S SECOND AIRPORT 

Mr Khaw also spoke about the upcoming Terminal 5, which is scheduled to be completed by 2030. 

Terminal 5 will increase Changi’s annual capacity by 50 million passengers initially and up to 70 million if needed – which would mean 150 million passengers a year, compared with the current capacity of 82 million.

​​​​​​​READ: Why charges are needed to help pay for T5 – Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong

“T5 is not just another terminal building. T5 will actually be our second airport,” Mr Khaw said. 

“To manage the risk of disruptions, we are designing T5 in scalable modules and to build them in phases,” he added. “This is a practical approach to avoid over-investment and being caught wrong-footed should our projections turn awry.”

Terminal 5 is being built on one of Singapore’s largest construction sites. At around 1,000 hectares, it is the size of Tampines New Town or two-and-a-half Marina Bays.

Source: CNA/aa(cy)

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