Singapore Changi Airport

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Singapore Changi Airport
Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa
Changi Singapura

(Xīnjiāpō Zhāngyí Jīchǎng)

சிங்கப்பூர் சாங்கி
வானூர்த்தி நிலையம்
(Ciṅkappūr Cāṅki Vāṉūrtti Nilaiyam)
Singapore Changi Airport logo.png
SIN Overview.jpg
Airport type Public / Military
Owner Government of Singapore[1]
Operator Changi Airport Group (S) Pte Ltd
Serves Singapore
Location Changi, East Region
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 7 m / 22 ft
Coordinates 01°21′33″N 103°59′22″E / 1.35917°N 103.98944°E / 1.35917; 103.98944Coordinates: 01°21′33″N 103°59′22″E / 1.35917°N 103.98944°E / 1.35917; 103.98944
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 (2012)
Passenger movements 51,181,804
Airfreight movements in tonnes 1,806,225
Aircraft movements 324,722
Sources: Changi Airport Group website,[3] ACI[4] Singapore AIP[5]

Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SINICAO: 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) north-east[5] 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, Scoot,[6] Tiger Airways, 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.[7] Until 30 March 2013, the airport served as a secondary hub for Qantas, which used Singapore as the main stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australia and Europe. Qantas is the largest foreign airline to operate from the airport, with over two million passengers annually. 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.[8]

In 2012, the airport handled 51.2 million passengers, a 10% increase over the previous year. This made it the seventh busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the world[9] 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 22 December 2012, the Saturday before Christmas Day, with 180,400 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 1.81 million tonnes of cargo in 2012. The total number of commercial aircraft movements was 324,722 in 2012.[10]

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.[10]


Singapore's International Airport at Paya Lebar, Singapore's third main civilian airport after Seletar Airport (main airport from 1930–37) 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, airplanes 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. 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 PentaOcean 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[11]


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.

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and a Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 at the airport

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.[14] 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 9 January 2008 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[15] and officially opened on 29 September 2006.[16] It is the first luxury airport terminal in Asia.[17]

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.

Qantas and Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s at Changi (2011).

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. [18] From May 2008 to July 2012 Terminal 1 was upgraded at a cost of S$500 million.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]

Growth in Traffic and Connectivity at Singapore Changi Airport[23]
Airlines 1981 1990 2005/2006 2010
Passenger Movements 8.1 million 15.6 million 32.4 million (2005) 42.0 million
Airfreight Movements 193,000 tonnes 623,800 tonnes 1.83 million tonnes (2005) 1.81 million tonnes
Country Links 43 53 57 (Jun 2006) >60
City Links 67 111 >180 (Jun 2006) >200
Scheduled Airlines 34 52 82 (Jun 2006) >100
Weekly Scheduled Flights About 1,200 About 2,000 >4,100 (Jun 2006) >5,400

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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.[24]
  • 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.[25]


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 1,048,220 m2 (11,282,900 sq ft)
Handling capacity 66 million passengers
Parking bays 92 (aerobridge)
10 (contact)
42 (remote)
Terminal One
Opened 1 July 1981 (operational)
29 December 1981 (official)
Floor area 280,020 m2 (3,014,100 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)
Terminal Three
Opened 9 January 2008 (operational)
25 July 2008 (official)
Floor area 380,000 m2 (4,100,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 22 million passengers
Parking bays 28 (aerobridge)
Terminal Four[27]
Opened 2017
Floor area 160,000 m2 (1,700,000 sq ft)
Handling capacity 16 million passengers
Parking bays To be confirmed (aerobridge and contact)
Terminal Five[28][29]
Opened 2023
Floor area TBC
Handling capacity 30-50 million passengers
Parking bays TBC
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 NA
Parking bays 0

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,.[30] 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[edit]

A Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-300 bound for Jakarta, Indonesia being pushed back, Air India and Jetstar Asia at the back.

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.


Changi Airport has two parallel runways, 02L/20R and 02C/20C, each 4,000 by 60 m (13,123 by 197 ft).[5] 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.[5] 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 (West).

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 new runway is expected to be extended and eventually be turned into a third runway for the airport in future expansion plans.

A third runway is expected to be ready by 2020, to cope with a growing number of flights.[31]

Passenger terminals[edit]

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.[32]

Terminal 1[edit]

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 280,020 m² and can accommodate a maximum passenger capacity of 21 million passengers a year.

On 7 March 2012, Minister 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.[33]

As of 12 July 2012, a $500 million facelift for Terminal 1 has completed.[34] It will be the terminals' biggest overhaul to date, involving works on its facade and halls under a theme called "Tropical City".[35] The refurbishment includes the installation of a two-part kinetic sculpture, Kinetic Rain, billed as the largest kinetic sculpture in the world.[36]

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.[37]

Terminal 2[edit]

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.[38] Now Singapore Airlines flights departing for Southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa use this terminal. Airlines operating at Budget Terminal, including Tiger Airways, 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.[39] In addition Terminal 2 houses the offices of the Air Accident Investigation Bureau of Singapore and Changi Airport Group.[40][41][42]

On 15 July 2013, Changi Airport unveiled its latest themed garden that boasts a dramatic display of vibrant 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. An interactive and immersive experience, the Enchanted Garden “magically” comes to life with sight and sound, captivating visitors as they weave through the garden. 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. [43]

Terminal 3[edit]

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

Terminal 3 became operational on 9 January 2008,[44] 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,[45] with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designing the roof feature[46] and interior design by Woodhead,[47][48] 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,[49] bringing another coveted award to Changi Airport.

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 from 25 March 2008,[50][51] while Kingfisher Airlines launched services to Singapore using T3 in 2009. Garuda Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines have also moved operations to T3 in 2011.[52]

Budget Terminal / Terminal 4[edit]

The low-cost terminal opened in March 2006.

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.[53] 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 opened at the airport.

In order 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. A range of duty-free shops and Food and Beverage outlets, and free internet terminals are available. There is no transfer facility at the Budget Terminal. Passengers who need to make transfers need to clear immigration (and get the appropriate visas at their homecountry if applicable), collect their luggage, clear customs, make their way to the main terminal by taking the zero-fare shuttle buses and check-in again with the respective airline.

In September 2008, expansion works costing $10 million began and took seven months to complete. The terminal is now 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.[54] In addition, air-conditioning has been installed for arriving passengers.

On 2 March 2012, it was announced that the Budget Terminal will be closed on 25 September 2012 and demolished to make way for Terminal 4.[55] All airlines previously operating from the Budget Terminal will be moved to Terminal 2, after the last flight departed Budget Terminal at 2 am on 25 September. Construction of Terminal 4 will begin in 2013, and 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.[56][57][58] 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.[59]

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.[60]

On 1 February 2013, demolition work for the Budget Terminal started. The terminal is expected to be demolished by June 2013. This will then be followed by the construction of the new Terminal 4.[32][61]

Terminal 5[edit]

A fifth terminal, Terminal 5 will be ready in the next decade as announced by Transport Minister, Lui Tuck Yew on 7 May 2013. 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.[28][29]

JetQuay CIP Terminal[edit]

JetQuay CIP 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).

Airbus A380 operations[edit]

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.[62]

Since the first A380 flight took off from Singapore to Sydney in 2007, Changi Airport has handled more than 20,000 A380 flights. Today, Changi Airport is the world's busiest multi-carrier A380 hub, with more than 200 weekly A380 flights operated by Air France, Emirates, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines connecting to 12 cities worldwide—Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco,[63] Sydney, Tokyo, and Zurich. British Airways will potentially begin flights on the Singapore – London Heathrow route once sufficient numbers of aircraft have been delivered.[64]

Thai Airways International once operated its Airbus A380 from Bangkok to Singapore to train its pilots on the new aircraft. Air France will also end its Airbus A380 operation to Singapore in 2013.[65]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER taxing at Changi
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800 taxing at Changi
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Changi
Qantas Airbus A380-800 taxing at Changi
Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 taxing at Changi
China Airlines Airbus A330-300 taxing at Changi
United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Changi
Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER at Changi
Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-800 taxing at Changi
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-400 at Changi
Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-200 taxing at Changi
Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300 at Changi
SilkAir Airbus A319-100 at Changi
Jetstar Airways Airbus A320-200 at Changi
SriLankan Airlines Airbus A320-200 at Changi
Thai Airways International Boeing 777-300 at Changi
Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 taxing at Changi
Air India Airbus A321-200 taxing at Changi

Passenger airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu 1
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 1
Air India Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai 2
Air India Express Chennai, Tiruchirappalli 2
Air Mauritius Mauritius 1
Air Niugini Port Moresby 1
AirAsia Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Miri, Penang 1
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita 2
All Nippon Airways
operated by Air Japan
Tokyo-Narita 2
Asiana Airlines Seoul-Incheon 2
Bangkok Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Koh Samui 1
Berjaya Air Tioman, Redang 2
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka 1
British Airways London-Heathrow, Sydney 1
Cathay Pacific Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Colombo, Hong Kong 1
Cebu Pacific Cebu, Clark, Iloilo, Manila 2
China Airlines Kaohsiung, Surabaya, Taipei-Taoyuan 1
China Eastern Airlines Kunming,Xian, Nanjing, Shanghai-Pudong, Wuhan 3
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou 1
Delta Air Lines Tokyo-Narita 1
Druk Air Paro 1
Emirates Brisbane, Colombo, Dubai, Melbourne 1
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi, Brisbane 2
EVA Air Taipei-Taoyuan 1
Finnair Helsinki 1
Firefly Ipoh, Kota Bharu, Subang, Kuantan 2
Garuda Indonesia Balikpapan, Denpasar, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Makassar, Surabaya 3
Golden Myanmar Airlines Yangon, Mandalay 1
Hainan Airlines Haikou, Hefei 2
IndiGo Chennai 2
Indonesia AirAsia Bandung, Denpasar, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Makassar,[66] Medan (begins 12 August 2013),[67] Semarang, Surabaya,[68] Yogyakarta 1
Japan Airlines Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita 1
Jet Airways Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai 3
Jetstar Airways Auckland, Beijing-Capital, Darwin, Denpasar, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Melbourne, Osaka-Kansai, Perth 1
Jetstar Asia Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Osaka-Kansai, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Penang, Perth, Shantou, Siem Reap, Taipei-Taoyuan, Yangon 1
KLM Amsterdam, Denpasar 1
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon 2
Lao Airlines Vientiane 2
Lion Air Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta/Soekarno Hatta, Surabaya 1
Lufthansa Frankfurt 2
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Miri 2
Myanmar Airways International Yangon, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Mandalay 1
Philippine Airlines Manila 2
Philippine Airlines
operated by PAL Express
Manila 2
Philippines AirAsia Clark (ends 1 August 2013)[69] 1
Qantas Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney 1
Qatar Airways Denpasar, Doha 3
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan 2
Saudia Riyadh 3
Scoot Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Gold Coast, Nanjing,[70] Qingdao, Seoul-Incheon,[71] Shenyang, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tianjin, Tokyo-Narita 2
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen 1
Sichuan Airlines Nanning 3
SilkAir Balikpapan, Bandung, Bangalore, Cebu, Changsha, Chengdu, Chennai, Chiang Mai, Chongqing, Coimbatore, Da Nang, Darwin, Davao, Hanoi, Hyderabad, Kathmandu, Kochi, Koh Samui, Kolkata, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kunming, Langkawi, Makassar [resumes 1 August 2013],[72] Manado, Lombok/Mataram, Medan-Polonia(ends July 25, 2013), Medan-Kuala Namu(begins July 25,2013), Palembang, Pekanbaru, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shenzhen, Semarang (begins 29 July 2013),[73] Siem Reap, Solo, Surabaya, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam, Wuhan, Xiamen, Yangon 2
operated for Air Timor
Dili 2
operated for Singapore Airlines
Bandar Seri Begawan 2
Singapore Airlines Ahmedabad, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cairo, Cape Town, Chennai, Colombo, Denpasar, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Malé, Manila, Mumbai, Riyadh, Surabaya [resumes 26 July 2013],[74] Yangon 2
Singapore Airlines Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Barcelona, Beijing-Capital, Brisbane, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Houston-Intercontinental, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Munich, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Newark [ends 23 November 2013],[75] 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 3
SriLankan Airlines Colombo 3
Sriwijaya Air Jakarta/Soekarno Hatta 2
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich[76] 2
Thai AirAsia Bangkok-Don Mueang, Phuket 1
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 1
Tigerair Bandung (begins 1 August 2013),[77] Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cebu, Chennai, Colombo (ends 30 August 2013), Denpasar, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Haikou, Hat Yai, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Hyderabad, Jakarta/Soekarno Hatta, Kochi, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Manila, Penang, Perth, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shenzhen, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram, Yogyakarta 2
Tigerair Mandala Denpasar, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta,[78] Medan-Polonia(ends July 25,2013), Kuala Namu International Airport(begins July 25, 2013), Pekanbaru,[79] Surabaya 2
Tigerair Philippines Clark (resumes 1 September 2013) , Kalibo[80] 2
TransAsia Airways Taipei-Taoyuan 2
Transaero Airlines Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo[81] 3
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta 1
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Narita 3
Valuair Denpasar, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Medan-Polonia(ends July 25,2013), Medan-Kuala Namu(begins July 25, 2013), Surabaya 1
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City 3
Xiamen Airlines Fuzhou, Xiamen 1

Cargo airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Aerologic Bahrain, Delhi, Leipzig/Halle
Air Hong Kong Hong Kong
Asiana Cargo Seoul-Incheon
Cardig Air Balikpapan, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta[82]
Cargo Garuda Indonesia Abu Dhabi, Balikpapan, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta
Cargolux Baku, Luxembourg
Cathay Pacific Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Penang
China Airlines Cargo Taipei-Taoyuan
China Cargo Airlines Shanghai-Pudong
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum, Dubai-International, Melbourne, Sydney
Etihad Crystal Cargo[83] Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Sydney
EVA Air Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Penang, Taipei-Taoyuan[84]
FedEx Express Cebu, Guangzhou, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Osaka-Kansai, Shanghai-Pudong, Tokyo-Narita
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong
Korean Air Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hanoi, Seoul-Incheon
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt
Martinair-KLM Dammam, Muscat[85]
MASKargo Kuala Lumpur
Nippon Cargo Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Republic Express Airlines Jakarta-Soekarno–Hatta
Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Auckland, Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno–Hatta, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Lagos, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai, Munich, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Nanjing, Sharjah, Sydney, Xiamen
TNT Airways Liège, Shanghai-Pudong
Transmile Air Services Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Penang[86]
Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines Balikpapan, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta
UPS Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Clark, Cologne, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Penang, Shenzhen, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan

Airlines based in Changi[edit]

A Scoot Boeing 777-200ER on final approach to Singapore Changi Airport on 28 May 2012.

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
Tiger Airways 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,[10] from organisations such as Skytrax[87][88] and Business Traveller. [88]

Passenger services[edit]

Indicator screens at the departure area of Changi Airport.
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).[89] Extensive upgrading work on existing retail areas since 2004 in Terminals 1 and 2 has increased sales 13.3% in the first half of 2005 year-on-year over 2004, and as much as 67% compared to the same period in 2003, with brands such as Prada, Gucci, Bulgari and Hermès opening outlets during this period. The first FIFA Official Store in the world was opened in Terminal 3, along with Asia's first Ferrari travel retail shop.

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[90]), Nature Trail (with six themed garden reserves) and comprehensive dining and entertainment options.[91]

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,[92] 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 six open-air garden areas. Open to customers of the airport, each garden represents a different group of plants: cacti, bamboo, heliconia, sunflower, fern and orchid. Changi Airport has numerous business centres located around the airport. Within the international transit area of the interconnected Terminals 1,2 and 3,[93] 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.

Aviation services[edit]

Ground handling[edit]

Ground handling of an Emirates Boeing 777-300 by CIAS in Terminal 1

Ground handling services are handled by two companies: Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) and Dnata Singapore (dnata sg). SATS is the dominant player with close to 70% of the market in the airport. Dnata Sg (Formerly CIAS) was formed in 1977 by the Port of Singapore Authority and five airlines (Air France, China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, 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 license (valid for 10 years) and commenced operations on 2 March 2005.[94]

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.[95] It handles Tiger Airways, South East Asian Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Valuair, Lion Air, and possibly Lao Airlines when the latter starts operation on 24 November 2011.

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

US-based Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG) was granted a 10 years ground handling licence starting from January 2012,[96] enabling it to provide passenger and cargo handling services to some 100 airlines operating at Changi Airport, although it has yet to secure any customer.

Aircraft maintenance[edit]

Six aircraft hangers, capable of full aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul is operated and managed by SIA Engineering Company at Changi Airfreight Centre and a single hanger by SASCO/ST Aerospace. It includes a 20,000 m2 (215,300 sq ft) column-free hangar at SIA Engineering Company, Hanger 1, which was the world's largest when opened in 1981.[12]

Safety and security[edit]

An Aetos auxiliary police officer controlling access to the runway side of the Departure Hall at Terminal 1, Singapore Changi Airport. 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 airport's security, while the Aviation Security Division oversees the airport's compliance with aviation security (AVSEC) policies, manages AVSEC-related projects, engages overseas partners and plans for business continuity in the event of a national emergency.[97] Operationally, the airport's emergency and fire-fighting services are handled by the Airport Emergency Service Division of the CAG.[98] 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.[99]

The airport's security comes under the purview of the Airport Police Division of the Singapore Police Force. Assisting the state organisations are the 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[96] and Singapore Airport Terminal Services respectively. These officers man check-in counters to screen luggage, control movements into restricted areas, and so forth. CAG has engaged the auxiliary police to enforce airside regulations since 8 February 2007, first engaging Certis CISCO[100] followed by Aetos Security from 16 July 2007.[101] On 29 April 2008, CAAS signed its biggest single security contract 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.[102] The $360 million five-year contract would commence from 1 April 2008 with an option to extend for another five years,[103] and will involve the deployment of about 2,200 Certis Cisco personnel, including armed Auxiliary Police Officers and unarmed aviation security officers to perform taskes including scanning checked baggage, controlling access to restricted areas, and screening passengers before they board their aircraft.[104]

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 two soldiers and a police officer, armed with assault rifles or sub-machine guns, patrol the terminals at random intervals.[105] 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.[106] It is levied at S$8 on passengers in the three main terminals and the Budget Terminal.[107] In 2005, it became the first airport outside the United States to win the Airport Security Report's "Excellence in Airport Security Award".[108]

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. Plans are in place to install over 400 cameras around the airport to monitor passenger activity around the clock and check on suspicious parcels and activity. Tenders to incorporate such a system was called in late September 2005.[109] Works are currently being done to install a perimeter intrusion detection system for Changi Airport’s perimeter fence to further strengthen security of the airfield.[110] The Airport Police plans to introduce a biometric identification system for access into restricted areas.[111]

In view of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, security screening checks have been stepped up on passengers and their hand-carry luggage, as well as checked-in luggage on flights bound for destinations in the United Kingdom and the United States from Changi.[105]


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
Top destinations
By flight frequencies (weekly one-way)
Rank Destination 02/08 06/10
1  Indonesia, Jakarta 195 211
2  Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 133 201
3  Thailand, Bangkok 161 131
4  Hong Kong, Hong Kong 106 95
5  Philippines, Manila 85
6  Indonesia, Denpasar 68
7  Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh City 67
8  Malaysia, Penang 28 66
9  Thailand, Phuket 49 64
10  India, Chennai 49 60
11  People's Republic of China, Shanghai Pudong 60 56
12  United Kingdom, London Heathrow 47
By annual passengers carried[112]
Rank Destination 2009
1  Indonesia, Jakarta 1 2
2  Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 2 4
3  Thailand, Bangkok 3 1
4  Hong Kong, Hong Kong 4 3
5  Philippines, Manila 5 7
6  United Kingdom, London Heathrow 6 5
7  Japan, Tokyo Narita 7 6
8  Australia, Sydney 8 9
9  People's Republic of China, Shanghai Pudong 9 8
10  Indonesia, Denpasar 10
11  Australia, Perth 11 10

Passenger operations[edit]

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.[10]

For the last set of full-year figures published by the airport, it handled 46,543,845 passengers in 2011, a 10.7% increase over the 2010 fiscal year.[10] The airport recorded its busiest month in December 2011 (4.53 million) and its busiest day on 17 December 2011 with 165,000 passengers handled.[10]

51,181,804 passengers passed through Changi Airport in 2012 which is more than twice Australia's population.[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[edit]

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 passenger movements 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 passenger movements 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).[10]

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.[97] The airport handled 1,865,252 tonnes of air cargo in 2011, an increase of 2.8% over the 2010 fiscal year, 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]

Ground transportation[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]


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,[122] 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.

Service Destination Notes
SBS Transit trunk services
24 Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange Accessibility-directory.svg
27 Hougang Central Bus Interchange Accessibility-directory.svg
34 Punggol Bus Interchange Accessibility-directory.svg
36 Tomlinson Road (Loop) Accessibility-directory.svg
53 Bishan Bus Interchange Accessibility-directory.svg
SMRT Buses trunk services
858 Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange Accessibility-directory.svg


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


Skytrax is one of the largest airline and airport review and ranking sites.
Year Award Category Results Ref
2009 Airport Service Quality Awards
by Airports Council International
Best Airport Worldwide 2nd [123]
Best Airport in Asia-Pacific
Best Airport by Size (25–40 million passenger)
2010 Best Airport Worldwide [124]
2011 [125]


  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 restricted to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (see Changi Air Base (East)).
  1. ^ The Official Site of. Changi Airport Group. Retrieved on 2012-08-15.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "air traffic statistics". Changi Airport Group. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Passenger Traffic 2010 FINAL". 1 August 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Aerodrome Geographical and Administrative Data, Services and Facilities and Meteorological Information and Runway Physical Characteristics
  6. ^ "Singapore's new budget airline touches down in Sydney". 
  7. ^ "Operating indicators for May 2013". 
  8. ^ "Changi's Budget Terminal to make way for new and improved terminal". 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d e f g A record 51 million passengers for Changi Airport in 2012.
  11. ^ a b Probert, Henry (2006). The History of Changi. Changi University Press ( ISBN 981-05-5580-6. 
  12. ^ a b Muliani Tan, Bonny (2001). "Changi International Airport". singaporeInfopedia. National Library Board Singapore. Retrieved 3 November 2006. 
  13. ^ "Happy 25th Birthday Changi Airport" (Press release). Changi Airport Group. 
  14. ^ "Singapore plans airport upgrade". CNN. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Take a limo from plane to luxury terminal for $2,000". Straits Times. Singapore. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2008. "The service, the first in Asia, will begin when the new luxury terminal opens on 15 Aug." [dead link]
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External links[edit]