Singapore Changi Airport Could Temporarily Close Runway by 2019
Singapore Changi Airport, which was recently named the world's best airport by SkyTrax for the third straight year, is preparing for substantial growth as it counts down to a new runway and a handful of terminal upgrades.
As a result of the expansive construction, the airport could be forced to temporarily close one of its two runways by the end of decade in order to provide sufficient space for an extensive Terminal 5 construction project, Singapore's Straits Times reported.
The runway closure could take effect by 2019 at the earliest. However the impact on air travel in and out of Singapore Changi is expected to be minimized by the completion of a third runway.
"This (shutdown) requires Runway 3 to be first completed and operational, after which Runway 2 will be closed temporarily, to allow for works such as underground tunneling and the construction of additional rapid-exit taxiways," said a Singapore Transport Ministry spokesperson via the Times.
Still, some level of inconvenience would appear inevitable.
"Whenever you build, there is always going to be an element of disruption and change ... This is true for any airport," said Catherine Mason, the managing director of services for Nats, the British firm assisting in the airport's runway development, per the Times.
The Times said the third runway is being constructed roughly one mile away from the current airport facilities, and that airport officials plan to have all three runways operating by the early 2020s.
Meanwhile, the 10 million square-foot Terminal 5 is expected to be open by 2025, with other terminal construction projects set to be completed in the coming years.
In terms of international passenger traffic, Singapore Changi is the world's sixth busiest, hosting more than 54 million passengers in 2014.
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