Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport plans to reopen Terminal 4 in September this year, according to a statement from operator Changi Airport Group. The terminal was closed in May 2020 due to the steep decline in air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A month earlier, Terminal 2’s operations were similarly suspended to allow for upgrading works. The southern wing of the Terminal 2 departure hall is also set to reopen in October this year. This will enable Changi Airport to meet the full recovery of pre-COVID passenger traffic in the northern winter season beginning Oct 30, said CAG.
“The growth that we’ve experienced in the last two to three months has been far greater than what we had anticipated,” said Transport Minister S Iswaran. The airport has “been able to manage” passenger volume through operations in Terminal 1 and 3, as well as in the arrival hall of Terminal 2, but it is time to prepare for the next phase, the minister said, according to local media reports. “Specifically, what we want to do is to ensure that our airport operating capacity volume can be taken up to as high as 70 million passengers. That is at about the level we were operating in terms of passenger flow pre-COVID,” he said.
When Terminal 4 reopens in September, it will handle both departure and arrival flights, said CAG in its media release. “Engagement with airlines, airport partners and potential tenants has begun to prepare for this,” it added. “While some time is needed to sign new leases with concessionaires, it is expected that there will be a small number of retail outlets and F&B options to serve passengers when T4 reopens.”
At Terminal 2, which commenced arrival operations in May this year, expansion and upgrading works in its northern wing will continue while departure operations in its southern wing will commence. Details on airlines that will operate at T2 will be announced in the near future.
Since the relaxation of travel protocols on Apr 1 this year, passenger traffic at Changi Airport has “recovered strongly”, said CAG. The first week of June 2022 saw passenger traffic reach 48 per cent of pre-COVID levels compared to the first week of June 2019. “The fast rebound in travel demand has given us great encouragement to prepare Changi Airport for the full recovery of passenger volume back to pre-COVID-19 levels. The additional capacity offered by T4 and T2 will put Changi Airport in a good position to capture this recovery and support the business and operational needs of airlines,” said CAG’s chief executive officer, Lee Seow Hiang.