• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 1:09pm

Singapore to build fifth airport terminal as it seeks regional dominance

Singapore's prime minister announces plans for fifth terminal at Changi, a revamp of healthcare system, and improved housing affordability

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 August, 2013, 5:33pm

Singapore will build a new terminal that will double the capacity of Changi airport in a bid to retain its edge as a regional aviation hub, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

The plans were announced in his annual National Day Rally policy address, in which he also vowed to improve housing affordability and revamp the healthcare system.

Construction work at the airport would begin soon and be completed in 12 to 15 years, Lee said.

"T5 [Terminal 5] sounds like a terminal, but it is actually a whole airport by itself, as big as today's Changi airport," he 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.

Changi airport, named the world's best by Britain-based consultancy Skytrax this year, currently has three terminals with a total capacity of 66 million passengers a year.

Lee noted that Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur international airport and Thailand's Suvarnabhumi airport were planning to expand.

"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?" Lee asked.

Lee, 61, is stepping up measures to ease concerns of Singaporeans who have been buffeted by infrastructure strains, rising living costs and greater competition for jobs, education and housing. The prime minister said the country was at a "turning point" and must make a "strategic shift" in its approach to nation building.

The government would "strengthen social safety nets, assure people that whatever happens to you, you can get the essential social services that you need, especially health care," Lee said.

Coverage under the government insurance scheme, MediShield, would no longer stop at 90 and would be expanded to include even those with preexisting illnesses, he said.

Lee is trying to steer the economy through an ageing population and a declining overseas-worker supply by prodding companies to produce more with less manpower and hire older Singaporeans, as well as increasing the birth rate. The foreign labour shortage is set to worsen as he pursues a four-year campaign to reduce reliance on such workers.

"The foreign worker issue is complex and government cannot meet all the demands and there's no perfect solution but we'll definitely help small and medium-sized enterprises find a way to make it," Lee said.

He also elaborated on plans to free up 800 hectares of space for homes and offices by moving a military airbase to the eastern part of Singapore.

More land would also be available after 2027 when the lease for ports at Tanjong Pagar near the central business district expired and operations moved to the island's southwest, Lee said.

Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse


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It is the difference in the political system where the top officials in Sg are answerable to the people while the ones in HK are answerable to Beijing.
Its great to see governments governing...
bravo singapore! food for thought for hong kong
Singapore doesn't have the "Rubbish" (Legco) as we HK has.
Hongkong's third runway is edging to the agenda. As usually, we can expect all sorts of fights with all sorts of weapons in all sorts of platforms: physical, verbal, legal, cyber, mudslinging, ICAC, scaremongering, conservation, street demonstrations and . . . . . That's Hongkong-style democracy, on my side of justice or on the other side of evil.
Singapore leads her people, not led by the people ! Stupid CY is swayed by his ......
To be fair there are not many people living out at the far end of Singapore where they will build a third runway and new terminal. Compare this to Hong Kong where there are tens of thousands of people on North Lantau and in Tuen Man who will be negatively impacted with a third runway here and not to mention the poor people in Ma Wan (Park Island) who have to put up with low flying aircraft and associated noise. And the same for people in Sha Tin. Flights in and out of Singapore generally do not negatively impact the daily lives of Singapore Citizens. The airport here should have been built with a north facing runway perhaps off Tai O and facing up the Pearl River or on the other side of HK then planes could take off into the wind and have flight paths that don't impact resident. Of course Shenzhen airport may cause some logistics issues :)
It is the difference in the political system where the top officials in Sg are answerable to the people while the ones in HK are answerable to Beijing.
Singapore has a government that actually works!
Good to see an Asian country actually moving forward and along with the times.............Maybe the policiticians and the idiotic government officials in HK can learn a bit from Singapore leaders and do something real for the good of HK, instead of just worrying about the amount of $$$ in their own pockets..........


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