Changi airport confident of capacity meeting growth

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Singapore's Changi airport believes that its terminal and runway infrastructure will be able to handle the expected growth in passengers over the medium-term.

"On both accounts, there is ample headroom for us to grow in the medium-term," says the airport's senior vice-president of market development, Lim Ching Kiat.

Despite the airport handling a record of 51.2 million passengers last year, it is still well short of its terminal capacity of 66 million passengers per annum.

"With our current developments of Terminal 4 and also the redevelopment of the Terminal 1 carpark, that will bring [our capacity] to 85 million in 2017," says Lim.

He adds that a recent study by UK air navigation service provider NATS has found that with its existing two runways, Changi has capacity for 430,000 movements. Last year, the airport recorded 325,000 aircraft movements.

Over the longer term, Singapore's government has convened the Changi 2036 Steering Committee to examine a number of options to ensure that the airport will continue to have the capacity to hold its place as a global air traffic hub.

The committee is considering issues around the future planning of terminals at the airport, air traffic control enhancements and the possible opening of the third runway at Changi, used exclusively by the military, to civilian traffic.

The committee was due to report its recommendations by the end of 2012, but this has been delayed as a number of teams are still working through the recommendations.