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September 26, 2017

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Singapore's airport to nearly double in size

SINGAPORE -- Singapore has earmarked 1,000 hectares of land for the expansion of Changi Airport — a move which will almost double the airport's size in the coming decades.

The planned expansion comes as rival airports in China, India and the Middle East formulate bold expansion plans to meet the growing demand for air travel.

Changi now occupies 1,350 ha of land. The extra space for the future, about the size of Toa Payoh, is located where the biennial Singapore Airshow is held.

The plot is now separated from the existing airport by Changi Coast Road and already has a runway used for military purposes.

Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, who helms a 10-member multi-agency committee studying Changi's future needs, revealed the plans in a wide-ranging interview on Monday.

Among other areas, the committee is looking at when new terminals will be required and how they will be connected to the existing airport.

To prepare for the final report to be out by the year end, the team recently visited several airports in the region, including those in Hong Kong, Incheon in South Korea and the Middle East.

Teo said the study trips gave a good sense of the developments being planned by other airports, and also reaffirmed the belief that growth in aviation — especially in this part of the world — will sustain itself over a fairly long while.

She said: "As a result of this, we saw that many of these airports have very bold, ambitious plans." Hong Kong for example, has set in motion plans for a third runway; Incheon, which has three, is thinking of two more.

A key priority for the Changi committee is to decide when the airport, which now uses two runways, will need a third, Teo said.

Fuelled mainly by low-cost carriers, the number of flights at Changi has grown significantly in the last few years, outpacing the percentage increase in passenger traffic.

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