Singapore Changi Airport

SingaporeChangi Airport

SingaporeChangi Airport is situated on the Eastern side of Singapore andcovers an extensive area of fourteen square kilometers. Ranked as thesixth busiest airport, it has also been voted as the best airportworldwide for the last three consecutive years.


SingaporeChangi Airport is facing challenges due to congestion that has beenbrought about by an increase in passenger traffic across Asia(Chevreux,Plaizier, Schuh, Brown, and Triplat, 2014).The greater use of low-cost carriers has resulted in increased numberof departures. Liberalization of air services has led to full-timeairlines operating smaller aircraft to match the frequency oflow-cost carriers that are perceived to be a success. In this paper,I will look at causes and effects of congestion, what is generatingdemand, historical growth trend, the level of growth, solutions,resolutions, and how to accommodate the predicted growth.

AirportDemand Relating To the Current Capacity

Theairport has three terminals currently operating at 80 percentcapacity (Garcia,2015).Morethan one hundred airlines operate in the airport connecting Singaporeto over two hundred and forty cities in sixty countries. Mostcarriers are increasing their capacity to and through the country totake advantage of the growth in demand for air travel. The threeterminals have the capability to handle seventy million passengers.Travel demand in the region was expected to increase by 7.4 percentthis year, which means the operating capacity, will be close to itslimit.

Causeand Effect of Congestion

Thepropensity to travel has continued to grow by involving a multitudeof distribution and exchange input to business competitiveness andefficiency, but the building and updating of aviation infrastructurehave tended to fall behind (Khengand Weng, 2014).Mr. Vinoop Goel, the Director of Association’s Asia Pacific forairports, passengers, cargo, and security said in a global meetingthat there is urgent need to tackle infrastructure. The current terminal and runaways are expected to runout of capacity in 2018. This calls for a serious action of settingup another Terminal 4 urgently by 2017. Putting up a new terminalwill help avoid most delays caused within the airport making itinconvenience to passengers. Any delay, either at the terminals or atrunaways, tends to add up the congestions.

Congestionis as a result of more airlines launching additional flights into andfrom Singapore. Besides the long delays in arrivals and departures offlights, another effect of congestion is the use of more fuel. Thisis brought about by the fact of a long line of traffic waiting totake off and landing aircraft being vectored for long finals and longholds. Use of more fuel adds to the operational cost of the airlines,therefore, reducing their profit margins.

Whatis Generating Demand?

Capacityis the ability of an airport to handle a given magnitude or volume oftraffic within a specific time and accommodation under a givencondition. For short-term capacity, it is determined for a givenperiod of time, the constant demand for service and average delay percustomer defines the conditions while long-term capacity for a fullydeveloped single runaway airport can operate at an average rate perhour, during the whole year. Better tools of technology can manageshort-term capacity hence, improve traffic flow in diversefacilities. Further, they can eliminate restrictions on capacity use,as well as re-distribute demand during peak hours. Use of theexisting facilities within Changi airport constitutes steps towardsimproving airport flow management. needs tolook for a long-term development of building a new terminal andrunaway for traffic is growing significantly. Airport demand has beengenerated by the fact that other South Eastern Asia airports such asBangkok and Jakarta are unable to cope with the rising passengertraffic. Traffic has therefore been diverted to Singapore Changiairport.

Economicgrowth has increased the demand for air travel. Rising income levelshave made aviation increasingly within reach of a larger segment ofthe population. Low oil prices have made air travel cheap andaffordable. The emergence of low-cost carriers and budget airlineshas immensely contributed to the increase in a number of passengers.The ASEAN open skies policy has paved the way for more flight acrossthe region thus, increased the frequency of flights into and out of. Changi has also established new connectionswith eight cities and seven other airlines, which have flights to theairport.

HistoricalGrowth Trend

ChangiAirport opened in 1981 with just one passenger terminal, one runway,and served thirty-four airlines, and eight million passengers(Sieverts,2014).It has grown to have three terminals and two runways in operation andplans are underway for expansion. In2015, Singapore Changi airport handled 55.4 million passengers, whichwas a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year. The aircraftmovement was at 346,330, which was 1.4 percent rise. Growth trend forpassengers in has increased over the yearsfrom 2010 to 2015. For airfreight movement there has been an increasefrom 2010 to 2012 but in 2013 it experienced a decrease but was laterfollowed by a rise in 2014-15. Aircraft movement has been increasingfrom 2010 to 2014, but it decreased in 2015 (ChangiAirport Group, 2016).

Levelof Growth Predicting

SingaporeChangi airport is expected to handle five percent more passengerseach year through the next decade. Mr. Lui notes that there is a needto have capacity ahead of demand. As there is economic growth in theAsia-Pacific region, air travel is becoming more and more affordable.In addition, global airline passenger numbers are set to increase bya quarter and hit 3.6 billion mark this year. Asia-Pacific as anemerging economy will see the strongest passenger growth. Further,Mr. Lui predicts that in future Singapore Changi airport will grow tobe the busiest airport, as well as employ more people.

PossibleSolutions to Curb Congestion

SingaporeChangi Airport plans to collaborate with Nats, which is a British airtraffic management company to raise the number of flights that it canhandle. Besides, there are plans to add a third runway that will besituated to the southeast of the airport that is currently used bythe military. The length of the runway will be increased from 2.75kilometers to 4 kilometers. The expansion is critical for Singaporeto remain the premier air hub amid keen contest from other airportscongestions cause flight delay.

Anew terminal 4 is under construction at the airport. It is expectedto be completed by 2017 and will have a capacity of handling sixteenmillion passengers per year. This will, in turn, increase the totalhandling capacity of the airport from the current sixty-six millionpassengers to eighty-five million. The terminal will meet the needsof both regional full-service and low-cost carriers.

Therehas been a reduction in landing and takeoff criteria by doing awaywith pre-departure clearances for some routes. Singapore ChangiAirport needs to implement intersection takeoffs for smaller jets asthey require half the length of the runway for takeoff. This willsave fuel used for a taxi to the end of the runway, as well as savetime.

Theairport has also allocated some funds for the development of a fullyautomated baggage loading and unloading for narrow-bodied aircraft.This will serve as a relief for the labor-intensive areas as they arefacing work force crunch. Electric baggage stowage vehicles will linkwith existing belt loaders to automate the process of loading andunloading bags hence save time.

Accommodatingthe Predicted Growth

Accordingto Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Mr. Lui Tuck Yew, SingaporeChangi airport must make itself attractive destination bydifferentiating itself from other airports, as well as havingimpeccable standards of service (Leithen,2012).In order to achieve this, Project Jewel has been planned which willbe world-class lifestyle destination and will also boost Changiairport’s attractiveness as an air hub with expansion of terminal 1and completion of terminal 4 which has over 50 percent of itsstructures already complete and is expected to be operational in2017. To accommodate expected growth in coming years, a project hasbeen set up to build a new mega terminal 5. This terminal will beconnected to other terminals through a network of tunnels to allow itto be operated as a sole integrated airport. This will ease thetransfer between different terminals, passenger convenience andairfield operational efficiency

Partof this will be through increasing the capacity of the airportthrough terminals 4 and 5 in order to meet growing demand and keepthe airport cost effective for airlines and passengers. Project Jewelwill involve linking Terminal 1, 2, and 3, expanding and enhancingterminal’s 1 facilities. The open-air car park will be redeveloped,adding more than 70 percent to the floor area and baggage claimhalls. Self-service kiosks will be incorporated at the check-in deskof Terminal 1 departure hall. Part of the Jewel complex will involvethe building of a bigger basement car park with five levels with acapacity of 2500 parking spaces.


SingaporeChangi Airport plans to double its capacity cover the next decade dueto the predicted growth. There is a need to have capacity beforedemand (Bok,2014).The capacity of the fifth terminal could increase to 75 million.


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