Singapore's Changi Airport plan to develop Terminal 5 – a mega terminal on the eastern part of the airport – will see work delayed for at least two years amid the downturn in aviation demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an online forum for Singapore's Ministry of Transport (MOT) scholars, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan stated Singapore is currently working to study the prospects of the aviation sector as a response to recent events. As it works to understand the effects the pandemic will have on the country's aviation sector, Singapore will hold off calling for major civil engineering tenders for the initial timelines for the project.
"It may take us a couple of years, and that is why we have decided to take a pause in the T5 project... So at the minimum, I think we will push it back by two years,” Khaw said regarding the ongoing pandemic and the future of the airport.
To address the current pandemic, Khaw stated: "All major airports are testing, experimenting (with the safety features). As we open up the fast lane with China and also in (Phase) 2, as we try out allowing some travellers between certain countries, we ourselves are already experimenting with some of these safety rules."
The Terminal 5 project is a development on Changi East and the eastern part of Singapore. With a schedule for completion in the 2030s, it will have a total area comparable in size to the current airport. The mega terminal project would provide an additional 50 million annual passenger capacity to the airport.
Due to the weakened travel demand, Changi Airport has consolidated the operations of its four current terminals. Terminal 1 and 3 are currently in use, while operations at Terminal 2 and 4 have been temporarily suspended. While shut down, work on upgrading Terminal 2 has been sped up with an estimated completion within two years.