The Changi East Project | The future of Singapore’s Aviation

Singapore’s Changi International Airport is one of the major transportation hubs in Asia and has been rated the world’s best airport for eight consecutive years. It spans over four terminals, with the newest one opened in 2017. Also, Changi is the home to Jewel, a shopping centre with the largest indoor waterfall in the world meant to attract travellers on stopovers.

However, after going this far, they most definitely would not stop at Terminal 4. Through this article, you will find out more about the future of Changi, which is a part of the Changi East Project.

History of the Changi East Project

In 2013, Singaporean ministers and heads of the Changi Airport Group announced the “Changi East Project”. This project will greatly expand the world’s best airport as we know it today- adding a new runway, gigantic terminal, cargo facilities, and more, slated for opening in 2030. However, as a result of COVID-19, its opening has been delayed by at least two years. Let’s look into each component of the project in detail.

Singapore Hong Kong
Singapore Airport. | © Joe Green

Terminal 5

Changi Airport’s Terminal 5 is set to be the largest of them all, spanning the size of all 4 terminals combined. It is located alongside runway 02C/20C, near Changi Airbase (East).

According to the Changi Airport Group, T5 will be linked to the other terminals at Changi Airport, allowing the expanded Changi Airport to be operated as a single, integrated airport for ease of transfer between different terminals with airfield operational efficiency. New facilities, such as navigation aids, airfield lighting systems, and a fire station, will also be constructed.

The new terminal will feature four separate blocks/wings, which will likely be linked underground.

Runway 02R/20R

Due to the new gigantic terminal, there is going to be a significantly larger amount of aircraft landing, so a third runway is needed. Owing to this, Changi Air Base’s Runway 02R/20R was extended by 1.25km and converted to a joint military-and-civilian runway in 2015. It was opened for operations in 2020 after construction had ended. It is currently actively operating civilian aircraft and military aircraft, despite Terminal 5 being nowhere near opening.

Changi East Industrial Zone

Another major part of the Changi East Project is the remodelling of the Changi Industrial Zones. Changi Airport’s cargo facilities, currently located at the Changi Airfreight Centre, will be expanded to the Changi East Industrial Zone as part of the Changi East Development.

The zone will be developed for airfreight, air express, Maintenance, Repair, and Operations activities. Together with the remodelled Changi Airfreight Centre, Changi’s handling capabilities will increase from 3 million tonnes per annum today to 5.4 million tonnes per annum in its end-state when the project is completed.

Singapore Airlines aircraft taxiing
Singapore Airlines aircraft | © Andrea Ongaro / Travel Radar

Despite most of the projects under reconsideration after COVID-19, it is likely to become a reality still as passenger numbers return back to normal all around the world and demand for global air travel rises steadily. In just a decade, Changi’s final major expansion will become a reality.

What are your thoughts on this project? Comment below.

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Sohail Sawlani
Sohail Sawlani
Aviation Reporter - Sohail is an avid aviation enthusiast and having been a previous Editorial Intern, is now an Aviation Reporter with Travel Radar. With a passion for Commercial Aviation and the machines behind the operations, he regularly contributes to the News & Analysis sections at Travel Radar. Outside of TR, he can be found on the Twitter realm as 'Planeopedia', posting about all things aviation!


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