Singapore's sprawling Changi Airport will be expanded to include a massive indoor skygarden, a fourth runway and a new T5 terminal "as big as today's Changi Airport" as the airport aims to double its capacity by the mid-2020s and retain its lead as Asia's foremost aviation hub.
Taking shape under the "Project Jewel" codename, the indoor garden will become a central hub linking the airport's three current terminals.
To be built on the current 3.5 hectares of the T1 carpark, which will be relocated underground, the green hub's soaring glass and steel façade will also contain an indoor waterfall.
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. and – because this is Singapore, after all – there'll be shops and restaurants too.
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T1 will also be expanded to allow more space for the arrival hall, baggage claim areas and taxi bays.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expects that the new T5 mega-terminal and the fourth runway will be be completed in 12 to 15 years.
"T5 sounds like a terminal, but it is actually a whole airport by itself, as big as today's Changi Airport," said
He did not reveal the cost of the new facility, but said it would include a third runway that would double the capacity of Changi, which handled 51.2 million passengers last year.
The airport's third runway is currently dedicated to the Singapore Air Force but will upgraded for commercial flights, with an all-new fourth runway to follow, alongside an adjacent military airbase to open "after 2030" when the city-state's current Paya Lebar Airbase in central Singapore is closed.
Work is already underway on Terminal 4. which is due to open in 2017 with the capacity to add 16 million passengers a year to the annual 66 million passenger capacity of Terminals 1 through 3.
Citing expansion plans by Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport, Lee said "The question is do we want to stay this vibrant hub of Southeast Asia, or do we want to let somebody take over our position, our business and our jobs?"
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.