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Singapore Changi Airport

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Title: Singapore Changi Airport  
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Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Changi Airport
Lapangan Terbang Changi Singapura
(Xīnjiāpō Zhāngyí Jīchǎng)

சிங்கப்பூர் சாங்கி
(Ciṅkappūr Cāṅki Vimana Nilaiyam)
WMO: 48698
Airport type Public / Military
Owner Government of Singapore[1]
Operator Changi Airport Group (S) Pte Ltd
Serves Singapore
Location Changi, East Region
Opened 1 July 1981 (operational)
29 December 1981 (official)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 7 m / 22 ft
SIN/WSSS is located in Singapore
Location in Singapore
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02L/20R[N 1] 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
02C/20C 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
02R/20L[N 2] 2,750 9,022 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passenger Movements 53,700,000
Air freight movements in tonnes 1,850,000
Aircraft movements 343,800
Sources: Changi Airport Group website,[2] ACI[3] Singapore AIP[4]

Singapore Changi Airport (ICAO: WSSS), Changi International Airport, or simply Changi Airport, is the main airport in Singapore. A major aviation hub in Southeast Asia, it is about 17.2 km (10.7 mi) northeast[4] from the commercial centre in Changi, on a 13 square kilometres (3,200 acres) site.

The airport, operated by the Changi Airport Group, is the home base of Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, SilkAir, AirAsia, Scoot,[5] Tigerair, Jetstar Asia Airways, and Valuair. As of May 2013, Changi Airport serves more than 100 airlines operating 6,400 weekly flights connecting Singapore to over 250 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide.[6] An important contributor to the economy of Singapore, more than 28,000 people are employed at the airport, which accounts for over S$4.5 billion in output.

Changi Airport has three passenger terminals with a total annual handling capacity of 66 million passengers. Terminal 1 opened in 1981, followed by Terminal 2 in 1990 and Terminal 3 in 2008. The Budget Terminal, opened on 26 March 2006 and closed on 25 September 2012, will make way for Terminal 4 which will be ready by 2017.[7]

In 2013, the airport handled 53.1 million passengers, a 5% increase over the previous year. This made it the fifth busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the world[8] and the second busiest in Asia by international passenger traffic in 2012. The airport registered 4.92 million passenger movements in December 2012, a growth of 8.6% year-on-year. Changi's daily record was broken on 21 December 2013, the Saturday before Christmas Day, with 191,800 passengers passing through the 24 hours. In addition to being an important passenger hub, the airport is one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, handling 1.85 million tonnes of cargo in 2013. The total number of commercial aircraft movements was 343,800 in 2012.[9]

The airport has won over 430 awards since 1981, including 30 'Best' awards in 2012. Changi Airport's efforts to counter the onset of age include periodic physical upgrades to its existing terminals and building new facilities.[9]


  • History 1
    • Construction 1.1
    • Expansion 1.2
    • Accidents and incidents 1.3
  • Infrastructure 2
    • Air traffic control tower 2.1
    • Runways 2.2
    • Passenger terminals 2.3
      • Terminal 1 2.3.1
      • Terminal 2 2.3.2
      • Old Budget Terminal 2.3.3
      • JetQuay CIP Terminal 2.3.4
      • Terminal 3 2.3.5
      • Terminal 4 2.3.6
      • Terminal 5 2.3.7
    • Airport Hotel 2.4
    • Airbus A380 operations 2.5
    • Project Jewel 2.6
  • Airlines and destinations 3
    • Passenger airlines 3.1
    • Cargo airlines 3.2
    • Charter and Seasonal airlines 3.3
  • Airlines based in Changi 4
  • Services 5
    • Passenger services 5.1
    • Aviation services 5.2
      • Ground handling 5.2.1
      • Aircraft maintenance 5.2.2
  • Safety and security 6
  • Operations 7
    • Passenger operations 7.1
    • Key markets 7.2
    • Cargo 7.3
  • Ground transportation 8
    • Inter-terminal transportation 8.1
    • External connections 8.2
      • Rail 8.2.1
      • Bus 8.2.2
      • Taxi 8.2.3
  • Accolades 9
  • Skytrax awards 10
    • World Airport Awards 10.1
    • Airport Star ranking 10.2
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Singapore's International Airport at Paya Lebar, Singapore's third main civilian airport after Seletar Airport (main airport from 1930 to 1937) and Kallang Airport (1937–55) opened in 1955 with a single runway and a small passenger terminal. With growth in global aviation transport, the airport was facing congestion problems. Its inability to cope with the rising traffic became critical by the 1970s; annual passenger numbers rose dramatically from 300,000 in 1955 to 1.7 million in 1970 and to 4 million in 1975.

The government had two options: expand the existing airport at Paya Lebar or build a new airport at another location. After extensive study, a decision was made in 1972 to keep the airport at Paya Lebar, as recommended by a British aviation consultant. Plans were made for the building of a second runway and an extensive redevelopment and expansion to the passenger terminal building. A year later, however, the plans were reviewed again as the pressure to expand the airport eased because of the 1973 oil crisis.

Baggage collection point; the Green Wall (right) spans 300 m (980 ft) and comprises 25 species of climbing plants.

Concerned that the existing airport was located in an area with potential for urban growth, which would physically hem it in on all sides, the government subsequently decided in 1975 to build a new airport at the eastern tip of the main island at Changi, at the existing site of Changi Air Base, where the new airport would be easily expandable through land reclamation. However, as there was an increase in traffic, the airport still had to be expanded at that time. In addition, aeroplanes could fly over the sea, avoiding noise pollution issues within residential areas like those at Paya Lebar and helping to avoid disastrous consequences on the ground in the event of an air mishap. The airport in Paya Lebar was subsequently converted for military use as the Paya Lebar Air Base.

After Singaporean authorities decided to build a new airport, Singaporean government dispatched an inspection team to Taiwan in 1979, watching and learning the design of newly built Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (later renamed to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport). Singaporean staff had immediately adopted Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport's design – single terminal with surrounding highways, and two runways aside the terminal, making the Changi Airport initially look identical to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.


Former Departure hall of Terminal 1

The airport was one of the largest single development projects in Singapore's history. Led by PSA chairman Howe Yoon Chong, land-reclamation works involving over 52,000,000 square metres (559,700,000 sq ft) of landfill and seafill began in June 1975, even as the airport at Paya Lebar was still in the midst of expansion works. About 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi) of swamp land was cleared and filled with 12,000,000 m2 (129,200,000 sq ft) of earth from the nearby hills, while another 40,000,000 m2 (430,600,000 sq ft) of sand from the seabed were used to reclaim land.

The contractor was Penta-Ocean Construction (五洋建設), a Japanese construction firm directly involved in numerous land reclamation projects in Singapore. Canals were built to drain water from three rivers, Sungei Tanah Merah Besar, Sungei Ayer Gemuroh and Sungei Mata Ikan. In total, 8.7 km2 (3.4 sq mi) were reclaimed, raising the total site area to 13 km2 (5.0 sq mi). Of this, landfill accounted for 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi) while seafill represented 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi). The construction also demolished 558 buildings, exhuming around 4,100 graves, a 38.1 cm (15 in) gun emplacement at Changi, and diverting the three streams to the western side of the former Royal Air Force runway, which was to be used for the new 4,000 m (13,123 ft) runway. All of these works were completed in May 1977. From 1977 to 1979, it was used to pile-drive the foundation of Terminal 1 and other buildings as well. The foundation stone for Terminal 1 was laid in August 1979. The 78 m (256 ft) high control tower is built on reclaimed land, with its design becoming an icon for the airport. The original name of the control tower was "Airtropolis", but was seldom used. The column-free hangar with an area almost as large as the Padang could hold three Boeing 747s. Its roof was constructed in Batam, and was shipped to Singapore in four separate sections by barge. A special jetty was built on the coast to obtain fuel from the Western Islands by shipping it round the coast. The fuel is pumped for a mile to the airport fuel station run by six oil companies on the north-eastern perimeter. The pipelines then leads to all the parking bays through a pipe some 5 m (16 ft) below ground level.[10]

The first phase costing about S$1.3 billion opened on 1 July 1981 with the first flight, Singapore Airlines Flight 101, touching down at 0700 hours UTC with 140 passengers from Kuala Lumpur.[11] Officially opened with much fanfare five months later on 29 December 1981 by Howe Yoon Chong, the airport had 34 airlines operating 1,200 scheduled flights each week connecting Singapore to 67 cities in 43 countries. It ended its first year operations with 8.1 million passengers, 193,000 tonnes of air freight handled and 63,100 aircraft movements.[12]

Despite the airport opening in 1981, some sections were not completed. The big aircraft hangar was only completed in 1982, and the second runway was completed only in 1983. This was the year in which the now defunct government department, the Public Works Department decided to focus on the construction of the second runway on the reclaimed land east of the Terminal 1. The sections of phase 2 opened progressively over the next few years with the completion of a second runway as well as other facilities. In 1985, the construction work on Terminal 2 started, south of Terminal 1. Terminal 2 was completed in 1989, and was opened in November 1990 with its official opening on 1 June 1991 by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. The opening of the second terminal was way ahead of passenger demand.[10]


The first commercially used A380, Singapore Airlines 9V-SKA, parked at Terminal 2
Check-in counters at Terminal 3; the round holes are the air-conditioning vents—they are placed at a lower level to diffuse cool air more efficiently

The airport has a development policy of always building capacity ahead of demand to avoid congestion problems common in major airports and to maintain high service standards. While the original master plan detailed plans for two passenger terminals, provisions were made for further expansion, including the allocation of space for a third terminal planned to have a physical configuration mirroring that of Terminal 2.

Construction of this terminal, Terminal 3, began in 1999, at an estimated cost of about S$1.75 billion. Originally planned for completion in 2006, the date was postponed by two years after global economic downturn delayed growth of air traffic in the airport.[13] On 30 May 2006, a topping out ceremony for the terminal was conducted, and an open house was held from 12 November 2007 to 9 December 2007. Test flights were held from 12 November until 3 January where the baggage handling, check-in and ground handling systems were tested. The terminal became operational on 1 January 2007 with Singapore Airlines (SQ1) from San Francisco via Hong Kong being the first flight to arrive at the new terminal at 1156 local time (0356 UTC) and SQ318 at 1315 local time (0515 UTC) being the first departing flight. The terminal increases the airport's maximum passenger capacity annually by 22 million, bringing the total annual capacity up to 70 million passengers. Also, there is a new full-service nine-storey Crowne Plaza Hotel immediately adjacent to Terminal 3.

Changing needs in the aviation industry led to reviews in the master plan, resulting in the decision to cater to the high-end as well as budget sectors of the air travel industry. Although the pioneering airport to conceptualise and construct a Budget Terminal in Asia, it became operational on 26 March 2006, and was officially opened on 31 October 2006. A dedicated stand-alone "Commercially Important Person" (CIP) terminal operated by JetQuay, started operations on 15 August 2006[14] and officially opened on 29 September 2006.[15] It is the first luxury airport terminal in Asia.[16]

Even as new terminals are being built, the airport continuously upgrades and expands its existing terminals. Terminal 1 went through its first major refurbishment in 1995 at a cost of S$170 million, prior to the commencement of expansion works 3-year later to add 14 aerobridges at a cost of S$420 million, which was completed in 1999. Terminal 2 was similarly expanded almost immediately after its opening in 1990, with the addition of two piers of aerobridges costing S$330 million and completed in 1996. In 2002, work commenced on the new Changi Airport Skytrain as well as the Terminal 2 building, and on 13 September 2006, the airport marked the completion of an extensive upgrade costing S$240 million in Terminal 2, which included an updated glass-fronted facade, interior decor, and terminal layout modifications.

To prepare for the arrival of the Airbus A380, the airport put into place modifications works costing S$60 million, which it has planned for since the late 1990s. These included the building of 19 gates capable of handling the large aircraft, eight of which are in Terminal 3. Baggage claim carousels, runways, and taxiways were expanded, and two new freighter aircraft stands and two remote aircraft parking stands built. Two aircraft taxiway bridges spanning Airport Boulevard leading to the terminals also had shields installed on either side to shield the road from the jet blast. On 11 November 2005, the airport became the first outside Europe to receive the A380 for airport compatibility verification tests, and was the first in the world to have an operational triple-passenger loading bridge fit for trials.

Extensive upgrading works in Terminal 1 similar in scale to the recently completed works at Terminal 2 commenced on 1 January 2008 and were completed on 1 January 2012. A highlight of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall is the addition of the world's largest kinetic art sculpture. Known as Kinetic Rain, this sculpture is made up of a total of 1,216 bronze droplets, moving in synchrony to a specially choreographed dance every day.

Resurfacing works costing S$50m on its dual runways and older taxiways were announced in January 2007 along with improvements to the security systems of Changi Airport such as access controls and surveillance systems to make the airport safer for travellers. Transport Minister Raymond Lim also added that the "software" of the airport had to be improved as well. Terminal 3 was tested in 2007 to prepare for its 2008 opening.[17] From May 2008 to July 2012 Terminal 1 was upgraded at a cost of S$500 million.[18]

In 2006, a short runway (2,750 m (9,020 ft)) was opened for Changi Air Base (East) on the site, an interim measure in preparation for its eventual expansion for passenger flights. It will be the first element in what may double the area of the existing airport in the next few decades.

On 1 March 2012, Changi Airport Group announced that the Budget Terminal will be closed in September 2012 to make way for Terminal 4, which will be able to serve 16 million passengers a year. It will be designed to enable efficient passenger processing and quick turnaround of aircraft, and will not have aerobridges. The new terminal will also have a wide choice of retail and food & beverage offerings as well as passenger amenities that will better serve the needs of passengers.[19]

On 7 March 2012, Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo announced in Parliament that a new multi-storey complex at the current Terminal 1 carpark will be built. The facility will house dedicated facilities to support fly-cruise and fly-coach travel options. When ready, Terminal 1's capacity will increase from 21 million to 24 million passengers per annum.[20]

Recently Changi Airport has also announced plans to reduce consumption of electricity and use recycled water at its terminal buildings over the next three years, as part of its contribution towards environmental sustainability. Currently, Changi Airport's annual terminal building electricity consumption is about 450 million kWh. The target will see Changi Airport reducing its terminal buildings' electricity usage by about 13.5 million kWh, generating savings of about S$2.4 million over the next three years.[21]

Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, who leads a 10-member Multi-agency committee that has been working on the blueprint which includes the construction of Terminal 5 (T5) – the airport's biggest passenger facility – a third runway for commercial flights, cargo complexes and other supporting infrastructure for around 18 months.

Announced on 19 August 2013 by Changi Airport Group, a new mixed-use complex will be developed on the car park site fronting Terminal 1 (T1) and will optimise the use of the 3.5-hectare plot of land. Construction of the new facility will begin next year. Codenamed 'Project Jewel', the complex will offer aviation and travel-related facilities, a wide range of retail offerings, as well as unique leisure attractions. The redevelopment will also expect Terminal 1 to be expanded to allow more space for the arrival hall, baggage claim areas and taxi bays, enabling T1's passenger handling capacity to increase to 24 million passengermovements per annum. Changi will be working with CapitaMalls Asia on the concept and plans of 'Project Jewel'. The completion of the complex would expect a joint venture partnership between Changi and CapitaMalls Asia to develop and manage Project Jewel.[22] Project Jewel is also being designed to be architecturally iconic, with an impressive view of the complex from both the Airport Boulevard and the sky. It will be designed by a consortium of design consultants led by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, who designed Marina Bay Sands. A key feature of the complex will be a large-scale, lush indoor garden with a breathtaking waterfall. To be seamlessly connected to Terminals 1, 2 and 3, Project Jewel will serve as a node linking the three terminals, improving inter-terminal connectivity.

Due to the construction of Project Jewel, the open-air car park fronting Terminal 1 (T1) will be closed for redevelopment from 12 November 2014. Following the car park closure, T1 users will be directed to park at the nearest car park located at Terminal 2 (T2) - which will be renamed T1 Car Park. At the same time, the existing Arrival pick-up point at T1 will also be shifted to another location outside the T1 Arrival Hall.[23]

Growth in Traffic and Connectivity at Singapore Changi Airport[24]
Airlines 1981 1990 2005/2006 2010 2012 2013
Passenger Movements 8.1 million 15.6 million 32.4 million (2005) 42.0 million 51.2 million 53.7 million
Airfreight Movements 193,000 tonnes 623,800 tonnes 1.83 million tonnes (2005) 1.81 million tonnes 1.81 million tonnes 1.85 million tonnes
Country Links 43 53 57 (Jun 2006) >60 >60 >60
City Links 67 111 >180 (Jun 2006) >200 >230 >230
Scheduled Airlines 34 52 82 (Jun 2006) >100 >100 >100
Weekly Scheduled Flights About 1,200 About 2,000 >4,100 (Jun 2006) >5,400 >6400 >7,000

Accidents and incidents

  • 26 March 1991: Singapore Airlines Flight 117, an Airbus A310 that departed from Kuala Lumpur, was hijacked by four men en route to Singapore. The hijackers wanted the plane refuelled so that they could fly to Australia. When the plane landed in Singapore, commandos stormed the flight, killing the four Pakistani hijackers, and leaving all other passengers and crew unhurt.[25]
  • 19 December 1997: Silk Air Flight 185, a Boeing 737 that departed form Indonesia's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Singapore's Singapore Changi Airport crashed from apparent pilot suicide.
  • 4 November 2010: Qantas Flight 32, Airbus A380 "Nancy-Bird Walton", VH-OQA, suffered a serious failure of its left inboard engine (#2 engine). The flight landed safely, and all 440 passengers and 24 crew on board were unharmed. Cowling parts of the failed engine fell on Batam Island.[26]


Panoramic view from Changi Airport Terminal 1 – Gate 5
Length 25,300 m (83,000 ft)
Width 30 m (98 ft)
Passenger terminal buildings
Floor area 1,046,000 m2 (11,260,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 66 million passengers
Parking bays 92 (aerobridge)
42 (remote)
Terminal One
Opened 1 July 1981 (operational)
29 December 1981 (official)
Floor area 308,000 m2 (3,320,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 21 million passengers
Parking bays 29 (aerobridge)
16 (remote)
Terminal Two
Opened 22 November 1990 (operational)
1 June 1991 (official)
Floor area 358,000 m2 (3,850,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 23 million passengers
Parking bays 35 (aerobridge)
11 (remote)
Budget Terminal
Opened 26 March 2006 (operational)
31 October 2006 (official)
Closed 25 September 2012
Floor area 28,200 m2 (304,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 7 million passengers
Parking bays 10 (contact)
JetQuay (CIP Terminal)
Opened 15 August 2006 (operational)
29 September 2006 (official)
Floor area 2,000 m2 (22,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity N/A
Parking bays 0
Terminal Three
Opened 1 January 2007 (operational)
1 January 2008 (official)
Floor area 380,000 m2 (4,100,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 22 million passengers
Parking bays 28 (aerobridge)
15 (remote)
Terminal Four[28][29]
Target Opening Date 2017
Floor area 195,000 m2 (2,100,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 16 million passengers
Parking bays 25 (aerobridge)
Terminal Five[30][31]
Target Opening Date 2023
Floor area TBC
Handling capacity 30–50 million passengers
Parking bays TBC
Project Jewel[32][33]
Target Opening Date End 2018
Floor area 35,000 m2 (380,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity N/A

Given limited land resources in Singapore, the airport was designed for both current and future needs as the country's primary airport. The airport was designed to be capable of doubling in size using reclaimed land with enough space for two more runways and at least two new passenger terminal buildings.

The master plan for the existing airport initially involved a dual-terminal and dual-runway configuration over two phases with provisions for another two passenger terminals in the near future. Phase 1 included the construction for the first passenger terminal, the first runway, 45 aircraft parking bays, support facilities and structures, including a large maintenance hangar, the first fire station, workshops and administrative offices, an airfreight complex, two cargo agents' buildings, in-flight catering kitchens and a 80 m (260 ft) control tower,.[34] Construction for the second phase would commence immediately after the completion of Phase 1 and include the second runway, 23 additional aircraft parking bays, a second fire station and a third cargo agents' building.

Air traffic control tower

The Air traffic control tower (ATC) was constructed as part of Phase One of the Changi Airport redevelopment plan and it is 80 meters high.

T4 will also have its own Ramp Control Tower to oversee and manage aircraft movements in the apron and taxiways around the terminal. This tower is needed to enhance the Changi Airport air traffic controllers’ visual line of sight of aircraft parking stands and associated taxiways near the southern end of Runway 2. The 68-metre tall Ramp Control Tower will provide clearance to pilots on when they can push back from the gates, as well as give instructions on which taxiway to be used, before handing over communications to the Changi Air Traffic Control Tower.[35]


Changi Airport has two parallel runways, 02L/20R and 02C/20C, each 4,000 by 60 m (13,123 by 197 ft).[4] 02L/20R was completed and opened in 1981 as part of the airport's first phase. It has a displaced threshold of 740 m (2,428 ft) leaving the rest of the runway at 3,260 m (10,696 ft) long.[4] 02C/20C, formerly 02R/20L, was built completely on reclaimed land and opened with phase 2, 1.6 km (0.99 mi) apart from 02L/20R. Four instrument landing systems (ILS) are installed on the two runways to guide landing aircraft safely under all weather conditions. Both runways are also used by the Republic of Singapore Air Force as part of Changi Airbase.

A new parallel runway 02R/20L (named 01/19 when opened in 2004) was built 1.8 km (1.1 mi) to the east of 02C/20C, currently used only by Republic of Singapore Air Force aircraft as part of Changi Airbase (East). The existing Runway 3, currently used by the military, will be extended from 2.75 km to 4 km to handle larger passenger aircraft. Almost 40 km of new taxiways will also be built to connect the runway with the current airport. New facilities such as navigation aids, airfield lighting systems and a fire station will need to be built as well.[36]

There will also be a fourth runway at Changi East which was announced during the National Day Rally Speech in 2013.

Passenger terminals

Changi Airport currently has three terminals, T1, T2, and T3, with a total annual handling capacity of 66 million. Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are directly connected via a monorail people mover system, with airside passengers being able to freely move between the terminals without going through immigration. Transport within and between these three terminals is also provided by people movers and the skytrain system, although it is also possible to walk between the terminals on foot for landside visitors.

A former Budget Terminal, capable of handling 7 million passenger per year, was purpose-built for low-cost carriers. It was physically separated from the main terminals towards the south, where connections were possible via a free shuttle bus service to and from Terminal 2. Demolition began in 2013 to make way for a new and bigger Terminal 4, designed to cater mainly to budget carriers and regional airlines that operate single-aisle aircraft.[37][38]

Terminal 1

Swimming pool in the transit area of Terminal 1

Singapore Changi Airport's oldest terminal operated as the sole terminal from its opening on 1 July 1981 right up until the opening of Terminal 2 nine years later. Configured in a H-shaped layout to maximise the number of aerobridges which may be built, it underwent two major upgrading works over its lifespan. A major refurbishment was completed in 1995 at a cost of S$170 million and work to extend two finger piers to add 14 aerobridges at a cost of S$420 million took place from 1996 to 1999. Today, the terminal spans an area of 308,000[39] m² and can accommodate a maximum passenger capacity of 21 million passengers a year.

On 7 March 2012, Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said that the open-air car park between Terminal 1 and Changi's iconic control tower will be redeveloped into a multi-use complex. This new complex will be integrated with the existing building, and will increase Terminal 1's public areas, pick-up driveways, and car park spaces. With this expansion, Terminal 1's handling capacity will increase from 21 to 24 million passengers per annum. The expansion of Terminal 1 will go together with Terminal 4.[40]

As of 12 July 2012, a $500 million facelift for Terminal 1 has completed.[41] It will be the terminals' biggest overhaul to date, involving works on its facade and halls under a theme called "Tropical City".[42] About 22,000 m2 have been added to the building, bringing the total floor space of T1 to about 308,000 m2. The larger floor area provides for more spatial comfort, better passenger flow, additional facilities and expanded retail and F&B offerings. The refurbishment includes the installation of a two-part kinetic sculpture, Kinetic Rain, billed as the largest kinetic sculpture in the world.[43]

The Southwest Finger of Level 3 of Terminal 1 has the head offices of Jetstar Asia Airways and Valuair. Scoot also has its head office inside Terminal 1.[44]

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 Departure Hall.

Terminal 2 opened on 22 November 1990 as part of Phase II in the original airport masterplan. Deploying a linear configuration parallel to the runways, it is located adjacent to Terminal 1 towards the south, and heralded the opening of the original skytrain system linking the two terminals via the landside. All Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights moved to the new terminal when it opened, along with several Southeast Asian carriers including Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, and Royal Brunei Airlines. They were joined by several airlines, some of which are allied to Singapore Airlines, in particular Lufthansa, both fellow Star Alliance members. Air France was a former user before moving back to Terminal 1. Other former users include Air Canada and Austrian Airlines, which ceased operations to Changi in October 2006. Etihad Airways was the latest airline to operate from Terminal 2 when it commenced flights in September 2007. All Nippon Airways moved to Terminal 2 from 1 October 2008.[45] Now Singapore Airlines flights departing for Southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa use this terminal. Airlines operating at Budget Terminal, including Tigerair, and Cebu Pacific, moved to Terminal 2 as the Budget Terminal closed for site redevelopment.

The fourth storey of the terminal houses the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.[46] In addition Terminal 2 houses the offices of the Air Accident Investigation Bureau of Singapore and Changi Airport Group.[47][48][49]

On 15 July 2013, the Airport unveiled its latest themed garden that has a display of colours and interactive technology – a first for Changi Airport, which has pioneered the concept of airport gardens since its opening in 1981. The new 'Enchanted Garden' – Changi Airport's fifth themed garden – takes pride in the spot where the Fern Garden once stood. It is open, free of charge, to passengers round-the-clock. Motion sensors trigger sounds of nature and blooming flowers while fibre-optic and LED lighting, embedded in the flooring, form a fascinating carpet of sparkling lights. There is also a pond containing Archerfish and Koi.[50]

Old Budget Terminal

The low-cost terminal opened in March 2006 and was closed in 2012.

Changi Airport was the second in Asia (after Kuala Lumpur International Airport) to open a dedicated terminal catering to the budget traveller. The name of the Budget Terminal was decided as a result of a naming contest open to the public.[51] However, the terminal is not included in the numbering scheme, even though it is the third terminal to be opened when it opened on 26 March 2006; and Terminal 3 is actually the fifth terminal to be opened at the airport.

To offer lower landing fees, handling fees and airport taxes, it cuts back on amenities such as aerobridges, elaborate physical structures and decorations in the passenger terminal building. There is no transfer facility at the Budget Terminal.

In September 2008, expansion works costing $10 million began and took seven months to complete. The terminal was then able to handle seven million passengers a year, up from originally 2.7 million. There are more boarding gates, check-in counters, shops and dining options.[52] In addition, air-conditioning has been installed for arriving passengers.

On 2 March 2012, it was announced that the Budget Terminal would be closed on 25 September 2012 and demolished to make way for Terminal 4.[53] All airlines previously operating from the Budget Terminal moved to Terminal 2, after the last flight departed Budget Terminal at 2 am on 25 September. Construction of Terminal 4 began in 2013, and is expected to be completed by 2017. It will have a capacity for 16 million passengers per annum, up from the previous 7 million of the Budget Terminal, and will not have aerobridges. It also promises to have a wider choice of retail and food and beverage offerings compared to the current Budget Terminal.[54][55][56] Terminal 4 will be designed to enable efficient passenger processing and quick turnaround of aircraft. That is because once the ASEAN Open Skies agreement is in place by 2015, passenger traffic will likely grow by at least five per cent each year.[57]

On 25 September 2012, Budget Terminal officially closed its doors to the public, with its airlines operations moved to Terminal 2 on the same day.[58]

On 1 February 2013, demolition work for the Budget Terminal started and was completed by June 2013.[37]

JetQuay CIP Terminal

JetQuay CIP Terminal, the airport's fourth terminal, is a privately run terminal, located next to T2. JetQuay provides private check-in, baggage handling, and immigration clearance services. It is the second luxury airport terminal in world to open after the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt Airport. However, unlike the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, JetQuay is an elite, dedicated CIP (Commercially Important People) terminal that can be used by any passenger travelling in any class, on any airline, through any of the main terminals (T1, T2, or T3).

Terminal 3

Transit area of Terminal 3
Butterfly garden, Terminal 3
Shops lined along the transit area in Terminal 3

Terminal 3, the airport's fifth terminal, became operational on 9 January 2008,[59] increasing the airport's annual passenger capacity by 22 million. The test flight out of Terminal 3 was a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Perth. The flight departed T3 at 5:30 pm local time, landing in Perth International Airport at approximately 11:30 pm. The terminal has 28 aerobridge gates, with eight capable of handling the Airbus A380. While the other two terminals use separate waiting areas for different gates, Terminal 3 has common waiting areas for some of the gates.

Designed by CPG Corporation,[60] with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designing the roof feature[61] and interior design by Woodhead,[62][63] Terminal 3 departs from the largely utilitarian architecture in the first two terminals. Like other new airports in the region, it has a structure mainly made of glass, with big transparent spaces inside the terminal. However, unlike these newer airports, it incorporates "natural" features and "warm" tone extensively to balance the sterile feel of glass and steel. For example, the column is given a wood-like cladding and the floor of the terminal is mostly cream/ beige colour. The roof has been designed to allow natural light to enter the building, with 919 skylights. A 5 m (16 ft)-high "Green Wall" with hanging creepers and waterfall was incorporated to enhance the tropical feel. The Green Wall, designed by Singapore based Landscape Design firm Tierra Design, also helps to regulate the internal temperature of the terminal with the occasional misting. The interior architecture of Terminal 3 recently won the Honour Award from ASLA,[64]

Singapore Airlines operated the first flights into Terminal 3 on 9 January 2008, with flight SQ001 from San Francisco via Hong Kong arriving at 1150 hours to a welcome ceremony by Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lim Siang Keat Raymond and the chairman of CAG, Liew Mun Leong. The first departure flight, SQ318, took off at 1250 hours bound for London-Heathrow. Since then, its regional and long-haul flights bound for North/South America, Europe, East Asia and Oceania depart from the new terminal while all other flights depart from Terminal 2, becoming the first and only airline to operate from multiple terminals in Changi Airport.

China Eastern Airlines, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways and United Airlines also moved operations to the terminal on 1 January 2008,[65][66] while Kingfisher Airlines launched services to Singapore using T3 in 2009. Garuda Indonesia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines have also moved operations to T3 in 2011.[67] In 2013, Asiana Airlines and Lion Air have also moved operations to T3.[68] Ethiopian Airlines also operates from Terminal 3. Spring Airlines once operated from Terminal 3. Malindo Air is the newest airline to operate from Terminal 3.

Terminal 4

Changi Airport Terminal 4 presents a new passenger travel experience through its unique terminal design and innovative use of technology is slated to open by 2017.

The construction of the new Terminal 4, the airport's sixth terminal, commenced in November 2013.[69] With a focus on low-cost carrier airlines, it is intended to automate most of the facility. Under a new concept of Fast And Seamless Travel (FAST) it will see options such as self-service check-in and automated baggage drop, immigration clearance and departure gates dominate in the new building. The new Terminal 4 will be a two-storey, 25-metre-high building with a gross floor area of 195,000 square metres (seven times larger than the previous Budget Terminal). 17 stands will be available for narrow body aircraft, 4 stands for wide body planes. A bridge across Airport Boulevard will be constructed to enable buses and other airside vehicles to move from T4 to distant aircraft stands. To facilitate the smooth movement of passengers boarding aircraft at the remote stands, T4 will also house a centralised departure bus lounge with up to nine bus bays. There will also be a new dedicated 68-metre-high Ramp Control Tower constructed. While great emphasis has been placed on high technology with in the new terminal space, it will be connected to the Terminal 2 by a conventional Airport Shuttle Bus rather than the automated Skytrain that links the other terminals.

The terminal's showpiece is a 300-metre-long Central Galleria which separates the public zone from the restricted zone. The terminal's visual-transparent concept will provide clear visibility from the Check-in Hall of the attractive offerings in the Transit Lounge. Local cultural and heritage items will be used in decorating the terminal interior. The retail space will feature traditional Peranakan shop front facades. Completion of the terminal is expected in 2017.[22]

Concurrent with the development of Terminal 4, major airfield works will also be undertaken at Changi Airport to increase the number of aircraft parking stands to support the needs of all airlines operating at Changi. A 38-hectare land plot south of Terminal 3, housing the airport nursery as well as a reservoir, will be converted into an aircraft parking area to house 17 narrow-body and nine wide-body aircraft stands. An overhead vehicular bridge across Airport Boulevard will be constructed to enable buses and other airside vehicles to move from T4 to these aircraft stands. Including new aircraft stands to be constructed at the T4 site, the number of parking stands at Changi Airport will be increased by 24% to more than 180.

Cathay Pacific is the first airline that will operate at Changi Airport's Terminal 4 when it opens in 2017.[70] An enhanced travel experience encompassing a full-suite of self-service options (in addition to check-in counters), exciting and attractive retail and F&B offerings, as well as an expanded dedicated lounge for its premium passengers are among the key highlights at T4 that Cathay Pacific’s passengers can look forward to.[71][72]

Terminal 5

Terminal 5, the airport's seventh terminal, will be ready in the next decade as announced by Transport Minister, Lui Tuck Yew on 7 May 2013. Terminal 5 will be built on 1,080 hectares of reclaimed land in Changi East, making it one of the largest terminals in the world. The terminal could handle a capacity of 30 to 50 million passengers annually. With the addition of the fifth terminal, Changi Airport will be able to cater to more than 85 million passengers every year. With the national carrier at Terminal 5, each alliance of airlines such as SkyTeam and Oneworld could also operate out of dedicated terminals. If so, aviation experts say this will contribute to a more seamless travel experience. Terminal 5 is also expected to have more self-service facilities and bigger lounges.[30][31] Terminal 5 will be linked to the other terminals at Changi Airport. This will allow the expanded Changi Airport to be operated as a single, integrated airport for ease of transfer between different terminals, maximum passenger convenience and airfield operational efficiency.

In order to create a contiguous and integrated airfield, the existing Changi Coast Road and the park connector beside it will be replaced with a new at-grade road and park connector further east, along the eastern coastline. Works are expected to start in the second half of 2014. The road infrastructure will be improved to ensure convenient access to Terminal 5. The terminal will also be connected to the MRT network. More details will be released after engineering studies are completed. The adequacy of bus services to the airport will also be reviewed. These plans will ensure that all airport users and staff are able to travel to the airport easily and conveniently.[73]

Airport Hotel

The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel is located within the immediate vicinity of Changi Airport. Linked to Terminal 3 via covered walkways, the 9-storey hotel has 320 guest rooms.[74]

Separate transit hotels for transit passengers are available at all 3 terminals, without having to clear immigration.

Airbus A380 operations

With Changi-based Singapore Airlines being the launch customer for the Airbus A380, works to ensure full capability in handling the large aircraft were given priority in time for its introduction in October 2007. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore spent S$60 million in upgrading the two existing terminals and airport infrastructure, including enlarged gate holdrooms, new finger piers, and extended baggage belt carousels from the normal 70 m (230 ft) to 90 m (300 ft). With these new carousels in place, the airport does not expect embarking and disembarking passengers and baggage from the A380 to take longer than it does from a Boeing 747-400, which carries fewer passengers. On 16 August 2005, Changi Airport unveiled the first of 11 specially built gates capable of handling the giant aircraft. Costing S$15 million, the gates or 'fingers' enable passengers to board the upper deck of the new 555-seater aircraft directly from the gate hold rooms. The hold rooms themselves have been enlarged and appointed to cater for the larger number of passengers aboard an A380. Beside the 11 new A380-capable gates at Terminals 1 and 2, eight more A380-capable gates were opened at Terminal 3 on 9 January 2008.[75]

Project Jewel

Artist's impression of 'Project Jewel', the new mixed-used complex set to be set to be constructed on the carpark site fronting Changi Airport's Terminal 1. The complex is being designed to be architecturally iconic, with a stunning glass and steel facade. (Photo: Changi Airport Group).

Announced in August 2013, this is a new terminal structure intended as a mix-use complex.[22] It will be situated on a 3.5-hectare site where the Terminal 1 car park now resides. Project Jewel is a joint venture between Changi Airport (51%) and CapitaMalls Asia (49%). Essentially, a new multi-storey underground car park of about 2,500 car park spaces will replace the existing facilities, while an indoor garden (with a waterfall) will be built above. The new building will sit between the three existing terminal buildings, enabling passengers to transfer via the new complex, whilst being an attraction and shopping destination in itself. The design will consist of a circular structure, reminiscent of a doughnut, with a large garden located at the centre and water falling from the edge of the circular atrium opening. There would also be a hotel of about 130 rooms as part of the project.[32]

As part of the project, Terminal 1 will be expanded to allow more space for the arrival hall, baggage claim areas and taxi bays. These enhancements will increase T1's passenger handling capacity to 24 million passenger movements per annum by 2018.[76]

Airlines and destinations

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and a Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 at the airport.
Qantas and Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s at Changi (2011).

Passenger airlines

Airlines Destinations Terminal
AirAsia Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Miri, Penang 1
Air China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu 1
Air France Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Paris-Charles de Gaulle 1
Air India Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai 2
Air India Express Chennai, Tiruchirappalli 2
Air Mauritius Mauritius 1
Air New Zealand Auckland (resumes 6 January 2015)[77] TBA
Air Niugini Port Moresby 1
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita 2
Asiana Airlines Seoul-Incheon 3
Bangkok Airways Koh Samui 1
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka 1
British Airways London-Heathrow, Sydney 1
Cathay Pacific Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong 1
Cebu Pacific Clark, Cebu, Iloilo, Manila 2
China Airlines Kaohsiung, Surabaya, Taipei-Taoyuan 1
China Eastern Airlines Kunming, Shanghai-Pudong, Wuxi 3
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou 1
Delta Air Lines Tokyo-Narita 1
Druk Air Kolkata, Paro 1
Emirates Brisbane, Colombo-Bandaranaike, Dubai-International, Melbourne 1
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa (resumes 31 March 2015)[78] 3
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi, Brisbane (ends 31 May 2015)[79] 2
EVA Air Taipei-Taoyuan 1
Finnair Helsinki 1
Firefly Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur-Subang, Kuantan 2
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Surabaya 3
Hainan Airlines Haikou 2
IndiGo Chennai 2
Indonesia AirAsia Bandung, Denpasar, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Lombok (begins 28 January 2015), Semarang, Solo (begins 29 January 2015),[80] Surabaya, Yogyakarta 1
Japan Airlines Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita 1
Jet Airways Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai 3
Jetstar Airways Denpasar, Melbourne, Perth 1
Jetstar Asia Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Darwin, Denpasar, Fukuoka, Haikou, Hangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Medan, Osaka-Kansai, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Penang, Perth, Shantou, Siem Reap, Surabaya, Taipei-Taoyuan, Yangon 1
Jetstar Pacific Airlines Ho Chi Minh City 1
KLM Amsterdam, Denpasar 1
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon 2
Lao Airlines Vientiane 2
Lion Air Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta 3
Lufthansa Frankfurt 2
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Miri 2
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur 3
MIAT Mongolian Airlines Ulaanbaatar 3
Myanmar Airways International Yangon 1
Philippine Airlines Manila 1
Qantas Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney 1
Qatar Airways Doha 3
Regent Airways Dhaka 1
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan 2
Saudia Jeddah 3
Scoot Bangkok-Don Mueang, Gold Coast, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Perth, Qingdao, Seoul-Incheon, Shenyang, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tianjin, Tokyo-Narita 2
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen 1
SilkAir Balikpapan, Bandung, Bangalore, Cairns (begins 30 May 2015),[81] Cebu, Changsha, Chengdu, Chennai, Chiang Mai, Chongqing, Coimbatore, Da Nang, Darwin, Davao, Denpasar (begins 12 December 2014),[82] Hangzhou, Hanoi, Hyderabad, Kalibo, Kathmandu, Kochi, Koh Samui, Kolkata, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kunming, Langkawi, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Mandalay, Medan, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shenzhen, Semarang, Siem Reap, Surabaya, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam, Wuhan, Xiamen, Yangon, Yogyakarta
Charter: Okinawa (ends 3 January 2015)[83]
operated for Air Timor
Dili 2
operated for Singapore Airlines
Bandar Seri Begawan 2
Singapore Airlines Ahmedabad, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cape Town, Chennai, Colombo-Bandaranaike, Denpasar, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai-International, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Malé, Manila, Mumbai, Surabaya, Yangon 2
Singapore Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Istanbul-Atatürk, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Munich, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Perth, Rome-Fiumicino, São Paulo-Guarulhos, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Zürich
Seasonal: Athens, Sapporo-Chitose
SriLankan Airlines Colombo-Bandaranaike 3
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich 2
Thai AirAsia Bangkok-Don Mueang, Krabi, Phuket 1
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 1
Tigerair Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cebu, Clark, Chennai, Chiang Mai, Denpasar, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hanoi, Haikou, Hat Yai, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Hyderabad, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Jinan (ends 6 January 2015), Kalibo, Kochi, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Lijiang (ends 27 December 2014), Macau, Malé, Manila, Nanning, Ningbo, Penang, Perth (ends 7 February 2015),[84] Phuket, Shenzhen, Surabaya, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tiruchirapalli, Xi'an, Yangon 2
Tigerair Taiwan Taipei-Taoyuan 2
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 1
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Narita, Washington-Dulles 3
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent 1
VietJet Air Ho Chi Minh City 3
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc 3
Xiamen Airlines Fuzhou, Xiamen 1

^Note 1 MIAT Mongolian Airlines flight from Singapore to Ulanbaatar includes a stop-over at Beijing. However, MIAT Mongolian Airlines does not have rights to transport passengers solely between Singapore and Beijing.

^Note 2 Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Jakarta includes a stop-over at Singapore. However, Turkish Airlines does not have rights to transport passengers solely between Singapore and Jakarta.

^Note 3 Uzbekistan Airways flight from Tashkent to Singapore includes a stop-over at Kuala Lumpur. However, Uzbekistan Airways does not have rights to transport passengers solely between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Air Hong Kong Hong Kong[85]
ANA Cargo Okinawa, Tokyo-Narita
Asiana Cargo Seoul-Incheon, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Penang, Hanoi
Cardig Air Balikpapan, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta[86]
Cargolux Baku, Luxembourg, Anchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Doha
Cathay Pacific Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Penang
China Airlines Cargo Taipei-Taoyuan, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Manila, Penang
China Cargo Airlines Shanghai-Pudong, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chengdu
DHL Aviation operated by AeroLogic Delhi, Leipzig/Halle,[87] Bangkok
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum, Dubai-International, Melbourne, Sydney
Etihad Crystal Cargo[88][89] Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Sydney
EVA Air Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Penang, Taipei-Taoyuan[90]
FedEx Express Guangzhou, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Osaka-Kansai, Shanghai-Pudong, Tokyo-Narita, Memphis, Anchorage, Taipei-Taoyuan, Ho Chi Minh City, Penang
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong[91]
Korean Air Cargo Penang, Hanoi, Seoul-Incheon
Martinair-KLM Dammam, Muscat,[92] Amsterdam, Sharjah, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi
Nippon Cargo Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Auckland, Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Hanoi,[93] Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Lagos, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Medan, Melbourne, Mumbai, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Nanjing, Sharjah, Sydney
TMA Airways Lebanon, Beirut
TNT Airways Liège, Shanghai-Pudong
Transmile Air Services Labuan, Kuala Lumpur
Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines Balikpapan, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk, Karachi
UPS Airlines Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan

Charter and Seasonal airlines

Airlines Destinations
Air Koryo Pyongyang
Transaero Airlines Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo

Based on CAPA, Susi Air operates to Singapore. Airlines with interest to operate to Singapore are Air Astana, Cambodia Angkor Air, Citilink, Jin Air and Yangon Airways.

Airlines based in Changi

Airlines which have a current Air Operator Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
Airline IATA ICAO Callsign Commenced
Jetstar Asia Airways 3K JSA JETSTAR ASIA 2004
Singapore Airlines SQ SIA SINGAPORE 1947
Singapore Airlines Cargo SQ SQC SINGCARGO 2001
Tigerair TR TGW GO CAT 2003
Valuair VF VLU VALUAIR 2004


Changi Airport is a top airport in terms of customer service and security and has won over 390 awards and accolades as best airport since its opening in 1981,[9] from organisations such as Skytrax[94][95] and Business Traveller. [95]

Passenger services

Flight Information Display System (FIDS) displays in the departure area of Changi Airport T3 driven by Intersystems RapidFIDS.
Extensive foliage in Terminal 2 provides relaxation for passengers in the transit area.

The airport has over 70,000 m2 (753,500 sq ft) of space spread between its three main terminals for shopping and eating outlets, with Terminal 3 having the largest amount of retail space at 20,000 m2 (215,300 sq ft).[96]

From two different lounges with 24-hour napping areas, showers and spa facilities, to hotel and pool amenities, this airport also includes Singapore Tours (created for those in transit for more than 5 hours who are granted a special pass to leave the airport on one of two city tour options[97]), Nature Trail (with six themed garden reserves) and comprehensive dining and entertainment options.[98]

In terms of sales, the airport outstrips other shopping malls in Singapore, including those in top tourist spot Orchard Road. The Changi Airport Group derives 55% of its total annual revenue from non-aeronautical sources,[99] such as office and warehouse rental. The airport derives the majority of its commercial revenue from the duty-free shopping, with the most popular items being liquor and tobacco, perfume and cosmetics, and luxury goods.

In addition to a wide array of duty-free shops and eating outlets, Changi Airport has five garden areas, some outdoors and some indoors. Open to customers of the airport, the gardens are: Cactus Garden (T1 – outdoor), Sunflower Garden (T2 – outdoor), Orchid Garden (T2 – indoor), Enchanted Garden (T2 – indoor), and Butterfly Garden (T3 – outdoor). Changi Airport has numerous business centres located around the airport. Within the international transit area of the interconnected Terminals 1,2 and 3,[100] internet and games facilities, prayer rooms, showers, spas, gym, swimming pool and a hotel are provided. Various lounge areas are provided, some including children's play areas or televisions showing news, movie and sport channels.

Passengers at Changi Airport will soon be able to board their flights faster, with the introduction of self-boarding gates. The Changi Airport Group (CAG) has been conducting trials of the self-boarding gates at a common gatehold room in Terminal 2 since May with Lufthansa. The self-boarding gates are just one component of a fast and seamless travel (FAST) initiative which CAG will be rolling out across terminals at the airport. Since April 2014, the gates have been progressively introduced in common gatehold rooms in all three terminals.

The on-going trial of a number of self-service functions – check-in, bag tagging and bag drop – will run for about three months until August 2014. It will enable CAG to assess improvements and adjustments needed for the hardware and software of the various systems.

Two self bag-drop units and four self check-in kiosks have been fitted alongside the Jetstar check-in counters in Terminal 1. Passengers on selected Jetstar flights are invited to use these self-service options. At the self check-in kiosk, passengers print their boarding pass as well as baggage tag after checking in. After tagging their baggage, they can drop it off at the self bag-drop counter. A receipt is provided for checked-in baggage. Instructional videos and signs are available to guide passengers, and on-ground staff are also present to provide assistance. Since the trial started in early-May, about 1,000 passengers have used the FAST facilities.

Aviation services

Ground handling

An Emirates Boeing 777-300 and Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 being serviced at Terminal 1

Ground handling services are handled by two companies: Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) and Dnata. SATS is the dominant player with close to 70% of the market in the airport. Dnata Singapore, formerly Changi International Airport Services (CIAS), was formed in 1977 by the Port of Singapore Authority and five airlines (Air France, China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (KLM; Royal Dutch Airlines) and Lufthansa). It handles the remaining market share.

In the early 2000s, the government decided to introduce competition into the market by offering an additional license. Swissair's Swissport won the 10-year license and commenced operations on 2 March 2005.[101]

As Swissair folded and was subsequently taken over by Swiss International Air Lines, the latter became the company's first customer. Adam Air chose Swissport as its ground handler in 2005, while Tiger Airways followed suit in 2006. Other customers of Swissport include Swiss World Cargo, AirAsia, and Cardig Air. Former customers of Swissport include Australian Airlines. Swissport ceased operation on 31 March 2009 due to massive losses. Asia Pacific Star was launched on 1 April, is a subsidiary of SATS, and is the new player concentrating mainly on budget carriers.[102] It handles Tiger Airways, South East Asian Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Valuair, Lion Air.

CIAS underwent restructuring when its shareholding was bought over by Dubai's Dnata in 2004, being relaunched in August 2011 with a new branding.[103] Its security services were amalgamated into the new Temasek-owned Aetos Security Management.[104]

Aircraft maintenance

Six aircraft hangars, capable of full aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul is operated and managed by SIA Engineering Company at Changi Airfreight Centre and a single hangar by SASCO/ST Aerospace. It includes a 20,000 m2 (215,300 sq ft) column-free hangar at SIA Engineering Company, Hangar 1, which was the world's largest when opened in 1981.[11]

Safety and security

An Aetos auxiliary police officer controlling access to the transit area of Terminal 1. Such services are now provided by Certis CISCO.

The Changi Airport Group manages the overall safety and security of the airport. The Airport Management Division of the CAG manages the customer aspects of the airport's security, while the Aviation Security Unit oversees the airport's compliance with aviation security (AVSEC) policies, manages AVSEC-related projects.[105] Operationally, the airport's emergency and fire-fighting services are handled by the Airport Emergency Service Division of the CAG.[106] The AES handles all instances of rescue and fire-fighting within the airport premises as well as in surrounding waters through its specialists operating from two main fire stations, a Fire Sub-Station and a Sea Rescue Base around the airport.[107]

The airport's security comes under the regulatory purview of the Airport Police Division of the Singapore Police Force. The day to day discharge of security functions at the airport are performed by auxiliary police forces including Aetos Security Management, Certis CISCO and SATS Security Services, of which Aetos and SATS Security Services are affiliated to the ground handling companies of Dnata[108] and Singapore Airport Terminal Services respectively. On 29 April 2008, CAAS then signed its biggest single security contract for all airport related security services by engaging Certis CISCO to provide security services at Changi Airport, as well as Seletar Airport, Changi Airfreight Centre, and the Singapore Air Traffic Control Centre.[109] It involves the deployment of about 2,600 Certis Cisco personnel, including armed Auxiliary Police Officers and unarmed aviation security officers to perform tasks including screening checked baggage, controlling access to restricted areas, and screening passengers before they board their aircraft.[110]

Since the 11 September 2001 attacks and naming of the airport as a terrorism target by the Jemaah Islamiyah, the airport's security has been stepped up. Roving patrol teams consisting of SAF and SPF officers, armed with assault rifles or sub-machine guns, patrol the terminals at random intervals.[111] Officers from the Gurkha Contingent are also deployed to patrol the transit areas of the terminal buildings. These measures come at a cost partly borne by travellers in the form of a "passenger security service charge," imposed since 2002.[112]

In 2005 an upgrade in screening technology and rising security concerns led to luggage-screening processes being conducted behind closed-doors, as opposed to them being done just before check-in previously within public view. Carry-on luggage and persons screening are conducted at the individual departure gates, while check-in luggage are screened in the backrooms and secured before loading. CCTVs are also in place to monitor passenger activity around the clock and check on suspicious parcels and activity. A perimeter intrusion detection system for Changi Airport's perimeter fence has also been put in place to further strengthen security of the airfield. while a biometric access control system for staff movement has been put in place since 2006.


Operational statistics
Year Passenger
1998 23,803,180 1,283,660 165,242
1999 26,064,645 1,500,393 165,961
2000 28,618,200 1,682,489 173,947
2001 28,093,759 1,507,062 179,359
2002 28,979,344 1,637,797 174,820
2003 24,664,137 1,611,407 154,346
2004 30,353,565 1,775,092 184,932
2005 32,430,856 1,833,721 204,138
2006 35,033,083 1,931,881 214,000
2007 36,701,556 1,918,159 221,000
2008 37,694,824 1,883,894 232,000
2009 37,203,978 1,633,791 240,360
2010 42,038,777 1,813,809 263,593
2011 46,500,000 1,870,000 301,700
2012 51,181,804 1,806,225 324,722
2013 53,726,087 1,850,233 343,800

Passenger operations

As all passenger traffic out of the airport is international in nature, the four major terminals in operation are equipped with immigration-processing facilities for international travel.

After recovering from a drop in passenger traffic as a result of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003, the airport saw rapid growth in traffic which hit the 30-million mark for the first time a year later in 2004. In March 2008 and prior to the full effect of the financial crisis of 2007–2010 on the global economy, the airport predicted that it will handle 50 million passengers by 2012,[113] with increases due to the opening of casinos in Singapore, together with the phased liberalisation of the Asean aviation sector. The airport surpassed the 46-million mark for the first time in 2011.[9]

For the last set of full-year figures published by the airport, it handled 51,181,804 passengers in 2012, a 10% increase over the 2011 fiscal year.[9] The airport recorded its busiest month in December 2011 (4.92 million) and its busiest day on 22 December 2012 with 180,400 passengers handled.[9]

51,181,804 passengers passed through Changi Airport in 2012.[114] It also handled more than 60 million bags. Lined up, it is 2.8 times the length of the Great Wall of China.[115]

Key markets

The LCC market in the airport expanded rapidly since the opening of the Budget Terminal. The terminal handled about 657,000 passengers by 26 October 2006, six months after its opening in March. LCC flights in Changi constituted 11.3% of total flights in October 2006 compared to 9.6% in April the same year.[116] The terminal handled its one-millionth passenger at the end of 2006.[117] A monthly record of 4.53 million passengermovements was registered in December 2011, which marks an increase of 11.4% compared to December 2010. On 17 December 2011, Changi has also set a new record of 165,000 passengermovements in the day. In 2011, LCCs accounted for about 25% of passengers carried (compared to 22.4% in 2009) and 28.6% of flight movements (26.3% in 2009).[9]

In 2010 Indonesia was the largest market for Singapore Changi Airport with 5 million passengers.[118]


The Air Cargo Division of the Changi Airport Group manages the Changi Airfreight Centre[119] located in the north of the airport premises.[105] The airport handled 1.81 million tonnes of air cargo in 2012, making it the 7th-busiest airfreight hub in the world and the fifth-busiest in Asia.[120] Due to Singapore's large electronics sector, electrical components constitute a significant part of the total cargo traffic handled at the airport, although it has initiated attempts to diversify into the perishable air cargo market.

In 2012, Changi Airport handled 1,806,225 tonnes of freight which is close to the weight of 14,500 blue whales.[121]

Air Cargo World awarded Changi Airport the 2013 Air Cargo Excellence Award for airports handling more than 1,000,000 tonnes of cargo in Asia.[122]

Ground transportation

Changi Airport was built with ground-transportation considerations in mind from the onset, with the East Coast Parkway built and opened in tandem with the airport, providing a direct link to the city-centre. At a distance of about 20 km (12 mi), the expressway was built almost entirely on reclaimed land; thus, minimising disruptions to the existing road network in Singapore's East Coast.

While configured in a compact configuration such that the three main passenger terminal buildings are sited adjacent to each other, allowing for travellers to venture between terminals on foot, the Changi Airport Skytrain people-mover system was added to facilitate quicker and more convenient transfers. The system was upgraded in 2007 to Mitsubishi technology, connecting to Terminal 3 and separating checked-in passengers from the general public on distinct tracks.

Inter-terminal transportation

The Changi Airport Skytrain operates between Terminals 1, 2 and 3, with a total of seven stations. The trains have separate cars for air-side (transit) and land-side (public) passengers. Initially built in the early 1990s as a shuttle between Terminals 1 and 2 using Bombardier Innovia APM 100, the system was revamped to use the Crystal Mover in 2006 and extended to Terminal 3 in 2007. The service is free of charge and operates between 5:30 am and 2:30 am daily.

External connections


Entrance to Changi Airport MRT station.

The airport is connected to the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network, with Changi Airport MRT station located underground between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 and directly accessible from both terminals. A direct, one-train service to the downtown and western parts of Singapore was initially in operation when the station opened on 8 February 2002 (then accessible only via Terminal 2). This was replaced by the current shuttle service between Changi Airport and Tanah Merah MRT stations on 22 July 2003,[123] when it was found that few passengers actually use this route, compared to the number of commuters who need to travel from the city to Tampines and Pasir Ris. Cross-platform transfers are therefore necessary at Tanah Merah to connect to the rest of the network.


Buses were one of the main methods of transport for passengers and staff until the opening of Changi Airport station. Services operated by SBS Transit and SMRT Buses uses the bus terminals in the basement level of the three main terminals, making a loop starting from Terminal 3 to Terminals 1, and 2, and back to their destination of origin.


Taxi stands are within the arrival halls of the three main terminals.


Year Award Category Results Ref
2009 Airport Service Quality Awards
by Airports Council International
Best Airport Worldwide 2nd [124]
Best Airport in Asia-Pacific
Best Airport by Size (25–40 million passenger)
2010 Best Airport Worldwide [125]
2011 [126]

Skytrax awards

World Airport Awards

Place Years
1st 2006,[127] 2010,[128] 2013–2014[129][130]
2nd 2002–2005, 2007–2008,[131][132] 2011–2012[133][134]
3rd 2001, 2009
  • Best Airport Leisure Amenities 2008–2014
  • Best Airport in Asia 2010, 2013–2014
  • Best Airport Duty Free shopping Award for 2008
  • Best Airport Dining Award 2008
  • Best International Transit Airport 2011–2012

Airport Star ranking

  • 5 Star Airport, the highest category in Skytrax's "World Airport Star Ranking".[135]

See also


  1. ^ Runway 02L is 4,000 m (13,000 ft) and 20R is 3,260 m (10,700 ft) with a displaced threshold of 740 m (2,430 ft). Thus aircraft landing on 20R will have to avoid touching down on the displaced threshold but may use it for departures.
  2. ^ Runway 02R/20L is currently restricted to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (see Changi Air Base). It will be extended for commercial use in the future.
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External links

  • Singapore Changi Airport Official Site
  • Singapore Changi Airport JetQuay CIP Terminal Official Website
  • Virtual Reality View of Changi Airport Terminal 3
  • Accident history for SIN at Aviation Safety Network
  • Current weather for WSSS at NOAA/NWS
  • Winchester, Clarence, ed. (1938), "Singapore's great airport", Wonders of World Aviation, pp. 128–130 , illustrated description of the newly opened Singapore Airport
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