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Thursday, October 6, 2022
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CHANGI AIRPORT’S NEW TERMINAL 5 WILL BE “HUGE” & SERVE 50 MILLION PASSENGERS EACH YEAR

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke during his National Day Rally last night (21 August), and provided updates on the upcoming developments to the upcoming Changi Terminal 5 and the Tuas Port.

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Tuas Port

A decade ago, Asia was growing strongly, and we anticipated that PSA’s business would grow with it. The existing terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Brani, Keppel and Pasir Panjang were working fine. But we decided nevertheless to consolidate all our port operations into one mega port at Tuas. This shift would progressively free up prime waterfront land from Shenton Way to Pasir Panjang for the future Greater Southern Waterfront.

The move to Tuas has already started. If you drive past the Tanjong Pagar terminal on the AYE, you can see it is no longer used for container operations. It is almost empty. That is why, during the pandemic, we could put up isolation and recovery facilities for COVID-19 patients in the container yard.

Tuas Port is now up and running. The first two berths started operations last December, ships are calling there from all over the world. Because we had planned ahead, our port was able to handle extra volumes during the pandemic. While ports in other countries experienced closures, severe congestion and long delays, but PSA, our port remained open 24/7 throughout. This reinforced Singapore’s position as the “catch-up port” where vessels made up time for delays elsewhere. In fact, last year, Singapore handled a record high of 37.5 million TEUs of containers. We kept our position as the world’s busiest transhipment hub.

In the process of moving to Tuas, we modernised and upgraded our port operations. The new port is automated and digitalised. It uses AI to coordinate operations more seamlessly, including vessel traffic management and port clearance. Instead of trucks with drivers, it deploys a fleet of driverless AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles). These other things here. There are no drivers. It just moves around magically by itself. This smooth transition owes much to our port workers, unions, PSA and MPA, the Maritime and Port Authority. Management and unions worked hand-in-glove to retrain workers and help them adapt to new working environment. On their part, workers picked up new skills, upgraded themselves, and became more productive.

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We have just completed Phase I of Tuas Port; Phases II, III and IV will follow. When fully completed around 20 years from now, Tuas Port will handle 65 million TEUs annually – almost double today’s volumes. We will have the world’s largest fully automated port, and that should make us a leading global player in the maritime space.

Changi Terminal 5

Changi Airport secures Singapore’s position as a global aviation hub. We have ambitious plans for Changi too.

Over the years, we have progressively expanded and upgraded it. I previously spoke about Terminal 4 and Jewel, they are now done.

But even before we broke ground for Terminal 4 and Jewel, we already envisaged building Terminal 5. Let me show you on a map. Here are T1 to T4. And this is T5 –T1, 2, 3, and 4. T5 is as big as all of these put together.

In terms of capacity, T5 will have 50 million passengers , which is equal to T1 plus T3. But if you look at the way the airport is built, all the new part of the airport, T5 and all these new half, in fact, we are building one more new Changi Airport. It is huge.

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Next to T5 we will develop the Changi East Urban District. This will be a new business and lifestyle destination, creating more jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans. Before the pandemic, we were about to call a tender to build T5.

Due to COVID-19, we paused our plans for two years, but we made good use of the down time. We reassessed the long-term prospects for air travel and improved the terminal design.

We concluded that the future of aviation remains bright. Now, with borders re-opening, people are travelling again. Passenger traffic has already exceeded half of pre-COVID-19 levels. In the longer term, air travel will keep growing because of a fast-expanding middle class in our region.

Hence we decided to go ahead and restart the T5 project, we redesigned T5 to be more resilient. In particular, to operate more safely and flexibly during a pandemic – to scale operations up and down more easily, and to isolate passengers from different flights to limit cross infection.

We also made T5 greener and more energy-efficient. When completed in the mid-2030s, T5 will show the world what sort of place Singapore is.

Let me give you a preview of the passenger arrival experience – from arriving, to the skytrain, to immigration, to baggage collection, to a beautiful Singapore welcome!

And once you leave the terminal, you can go down the escalators, and take the MRT straight into town. T5 will be a place that all Singaporeans can take pride in and enjoy.

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