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Covid-19: Khaw Boon Wan: Changi Airport Terminal 2 to close for 18 months

"...Terminal 2 operations will be suspended for 18 months starting May 1, 2020. “This will save cost for everyone, especially the airlines, retail shops and F&B outlets,” said Mr Khaw

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Singapore – Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 will close for 18 months as an added cost-cutting measure amid the Covid-19 pandemic, says Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

On Monday (April 6), Mr Khaw announced in Facebook that the Covid-19 situation is “forcing us to rethink policies and to make adjustments.” And they must be done quickly, he added. The collapse of global aviation is one example, and Mr Khaw noted that Changi Airport now is operating at over-capacity.

“We have four terminals, but one is sufficient for (the) current level of demand,” he said. As a result, Terminal 2 operations will be suspended for 18 months starting May 1, 2020. “This will save cost for everyone, especially the airlines, retail shops and F&B outlets,” said Mr Khaw.

The decision was confirmed by the Changi Airport Group (CAG) who said that 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,” reported straitstimes.com.

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In addition to the temporary closure of Terminal 2, CAG announced that its operations at Terminal 4 have also been significantly decreased due to the minimal number of flights it handles. Should the situation enhance further and other airlines decide on suspending or adjusting their flight schedules, CAG is considering suspending Terminal 4 operations as well.

During the suspension of Terminal 2 operations, Mr Khaw noted that the period would be spent in speeding up the upgrading works in T2 and shorten its project line by a year.

Singapore to secure reputation as a major node in global supply chain
The other terminals in Changi Airport will continue operations to secure and strengthen Singapore’s role as a significant supply chain hub and ensure that all airlines have enough capacity to grow when the traffic recovers.

In his speech during the Resilience Budget, Mr Khaw emphasised the importance of keeping global supply chains intact, especially at a time of crisis, so that goods can reach countries and people in need. “We kept our seaport open throughout this crisis, and we are committed to keeping it open.”

Meanwhile, the air hub at Changi, which is spearheaded by Singapore Airlines (SIA), is a crucial manufacturing, business and research and development centre. “SIA is deploying some of its passenger aircraft to carry only cargo,” said Mr Khaw. “Together, these services fly in essential goods amid the global supply disruptions such as medical supplies, food and other useful cargoes.”

“Even in crisis mode, we must work to enhance our reputation as among the most reliable hubs in the world.”

Making Adjustments COVID-19 is forcing us to rethink policies and to make adjustments. And quickly. For example, the collapse of global aviation means that Changi Airport is over-capacity. We have 4 terminals but 1 is sufficient for current level of demand. However, we have to think about post-pandemic recovery.After deliberations, we have decided to suspend Terminal 2 for 18 months from 1 May next month. This will save cost for everyone, especially the airlines, retail shops and F&B outlets. Importantly, it will also allow us to speed up the upgrading works in T2 and shorten its project line by 1 year. We will consolidate SIA flights in T3. The other airlines will be adjusted too. But we will ensure that all airlines will have enough capacity to grow when the traffic recovers. This is an unprecedented step, in unprecedented times. #OneTransport family is a part of #SingaporeHeartbeat, and thanks to all Singaporeans, we will emerge stronger from this.#SGUnited #SingaporeTogether with Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore – MPA, Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving, Public Transport Council

Posted by Khaw Boon Wan on Monday, April 6, 2020

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