First major construction tender for Changi Airport T5 launched in March: Chee Hong Tat

SINGAPORE – The first major construction tender for the upcoming Changi Airport Terminal 5 was launched in March by airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG), ahead of the scheduled start of construction in 2025, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat disclosed on April 25.

The construction tender covers the building’s substructure, which will comprise the foundation and basement works for the new terminal, Mr Chee said during the annual Changi Airline Awards at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore, without elaborating.

The Straits Times has contacted CAG for more information.

“We have also started work on other aspects of T5, such as the underground connection linking Terminal 2 and T5, also known as the T2 Connection, or T2C. T2C will provide baggage and inter-terminal links to ensure a seamless connection between T5 and the existing terminals at Changi,” Mr Chee said at the ceremony, which honoured Changi Airport’s airline partners for their contributions to its growth as a global air hub.

When operational in the mid-2030s, T5 will be able to handle up to 50 million passengers a year. This is more than the current capacities of Terminals 1 and 3 combined.

T5 will be located within the new 1,080ha Changi East development, Changi Airport’s largest expansion project to date that will be three times the size of Marina Bay. It also includes the Changi East Urban District, a business and lifestyle hub next to the terminal.

Part of ongoing infrastructural works at the Changi East development, the 2.5km-long T2 Connection will link T5 with Changi’s existing terminals when the mega terminal opens.

It will comprise tunnels for an automated people-mover system – similar to the Skytrain, which takes travellers between Changi’s existing terminals – and a separate system to handle baggage.

Earlier in February, construction work for the underground link at Changi East appeared as a new line item in the Government’s projected development expenditure for Budget 2024, with a total project cost exceeding $722 million.

Preparatory work for the new underground link is already under way.

According to stock exchange filings, the Singapore subsidiary of Chinese construction firm Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co was awarded a $622 million contract in October 2023 by CAG to design and build underground structures for the new T2 underground link.

The contract, which also includes the restoration of airport infrastructure and road surfaces that are affected by the works, is slated to be completed in October 2028.

Construction work on Changi Airport’s fifth and biggest terminal, announced in 2013, was meant to start around 2020, but the project was paused for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Work resumed in 2022. During the two-year downtime, the mega terminal was redesigned to be more resilient – in particular, to operate more safely and flexibly during a pandemic.

It can be split and operated as smaller sub-terminals when needed, with spaces that can be converted into quarantine or testing facilities.

It will have contactless passenger touchpoints and ventilation systems that can increase fresh air or minimise mixing of air when there is a threat of an airborne disease.

The new terminal will also be greener and more energy-efficient. Autonomous vehicles and robotics could be used to support cargo transport and baggage handling.

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