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.
“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.
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.