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Singapore Changi Airport's Terminal 2 to close for 18 months due to COVID-19

Aviation Updates Philippines – Singapore Changi Airport's Terminal 2 will be temporarily closed for 18 months starting May 1, 2020 following a sharp decline in passenger numbers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TEMPORARY CLOSURE. Singapore Changi Airport's Terminal 2 will be temporarily closed for 18 months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the aviation industry. Photo by Terrence Ong.
Speaking to parliament on April 6 (Monday), Singapore's Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) made the decision to close the terminal due to "the steep decline in passenger traffic and the likelihood that air travel demand will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels in the near term".

"We will save on running costs for the airport operator, retail tenants, airlines, and ground handlers," he said.

As a result of the closure, all airlines that currently operate at Terminal 2 will be distributed across the three other terminals at Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines, which has reduced 96% of its flights till end-April, will consolidate its operations in Terminal 3. 

Currently, the airline's flights to destinations in South and Southeast Asia are operated out of Terminal 2, while the rest of its flights are operated out of Terminal 3.

Khaw also hinted at the possibility of additional closures, saying that one terminal can already handle all traffic at the airport. 

According to CAG, operations at Terminal 4, which currently houses a number of airlines including the AirAsia Group, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, and Vietnam Airlines, have been "scaled down considerably" due to the "very small number" of flights there.

The airport operator said that it will consider temporarily suspending operations at Terminal 4 if the remaining airlines decide to suspend or adjust their flight schedule.

Meanwhile, the closure of Terminal 2 could also bring forward the completion of upgrading works at the 30-year-old terminal by up to a year, according to CAG. The project, which was announced in January, was originally scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The expansion, which began after the Chinese New Year Holidays, would allow the airport to handle an additional five million passengers annually and improve the overall passenger experience. The works would give the terminal an additional 15,500 square meters of space and would see the addition of self-service check-in kiosks, more automated immigration lanes, fully automated baggage handling systems, additional baggage belts, and new food and beverage (F&B) offerings.

The main contractor for the project is Japanese firm Takenaka Corporation, the same company behind the construction of Terminal 4 and upgrading works at Terminal 1 which began in 2015.

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