International Business & Economy Why Changi East is a sign that bigger is better in Singapore

Why Changi East is a sign that bigger is better in Singapore

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Construction on Terminal 5, Singapore’s new passenger terminal, will begin in 2020 and is the country’s biggest and most far-reaching yet.

Featuring the following innovations that the Changi Airport Group (CAG) has rolled out over the last few months, Changi East, which includes Terminal 5, will be located right beside the existing airport.

First of all, 20,000 workers are expected to man Changi East, a big difference from the 3,000 currently employed at the airport today.

Secondly, Changi East will span a whopping 1,080 hectares, making it the largest expansion in the airport’s history. To give you an idea of how huge 1,080 hectares is, well just think of Sengkang New Town. It’s roughly about the same size, and will have pavements the same length as the Pan-Island Expressway.

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Or you could put 667 football fields together, that’s how massive the new airport will be, with onsite drainage as long as 435 MRT trains. Whew!

Terminal 5 is not the only component of Changi East. The complex will also encompass the Changi East Industrial Zone, aircraft support facilities, a three-runway system, as well as tunnels and underground systems.

The Changi East Industrial Zone is being built to raise the cargo handling capabilities of Changi Airport from its current capacity of 3 million tonnes per year, to 5.4 million tonnes annually upon completion. Along with this, the Changi Airfreight Centre will also undergo remodeling to further increase capabilities.

Changi is not only going bigger, but also more high tech. Concentrating on automation, the air cargo hub will be able to hasten the speed and efficiency of cargo delivery through technology and data.

Changi East also has its very own checkpoint, which has 6 lanes and can handle 500 vehicles every hour and 8,000 workers every hour. It was launched in September for keeping track of vehicular and human activity going in and out of the area.

Additionally, there is also the Changi East Command Center (CECC) whose purpose is to provide safety monitoring in the airfield day and night. There is equipment for electronic tracking installed, as well as video surveillance systems so that the wellbeing of employees can be assured at all times.

Each worker will be given a transponder, while at the same time virtual fences will also be set up. When a worker inadvertently enters a restricted area, alarms will sound off.

The CECC will also have a digital map with an overview of all ongoing construction and vital information including contact details of project supervisors.

Lastly, inspectors of ongoing work will be given smart glasses. These have special lenses that allow for live footage and direct communications with the CECC. This means that managers on duty will be able to monitor better situations on the ground, in addition to state of the art video surveillance systems.

Terminal 5 itself is expected to be finished by 2030, and can manage up to 50 million people every year in its first phase. It will be connected to the other terminals in Changi, to facilitate transfers between terminals easily.

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