Singapore Changi plans expansion to nearly double cargo capacity

CEIZ development design Source: Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (CAG) is planning the construction of a “Changi East Industrial Zone” (CEIZ) at Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) as part of its “Changi East Development” initiative. The new zone, in addition to the remodelled Changi Airfreight Center, will house SIN’s cargo facilities and nearly double the airport’s cargo capacity.

In this plan, SIN’s cargo facilities, currently located at the Changi Airfreight Center, will be integrated into the CEIZ, which will include space for freight, express and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) activities. Ultimately, the airport’s cargo handling capacity will increase from its current 3 million tonnes annually to 5.4 tonnes per annum upon completion. Cargo facilities in the expanded hub will also be automated. Designs also include dedicated lanes for autonomous guided vehicles, as well as direct access to freighter aircraft from the cargo and express terminals. The initial phase of construction is projected to be completed around 2030.

The move bolsters SIN’s efforts to position itself strategically against its regional competitors in capturing emerging perishables markets and shifts in cargo flows resulting from re-shoring of production houses from China to lower-cost manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia. The airport has also received support from the government, which has worked to create a conducive environment for e-commerce growth in the region.

Initially announced in 2013, the Changi East Development project also includes plans for construction of a three-runway system and a fifth terminal (T5). Funding for Changi East Development has been divided between the Singaporean Government, CAG and airport stakeholders. In the project, construction of the three-runway system will extend the existing third runway from 2.75 km to 4 km and will convert it for joint military-civilian use, as it was formerly used only by the military. T5 will be built on 1,080 hectares on the east side of airport property and will be able to handle up to 50 million passengers per year in its initial phase. Construction of the three-runway system is expected to be operational by the early 2020’s, while the initial construction phase for T5, like the CEIZ, is set for around 2030.