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Terminal at Singapore Changi Closes Due to Pandemic

Terminal at Singapore Changi Closes Due to Pandemic

Singapore Airlines A359
Singapore Airlines A350 parked at its gate at San Francisco International Airport. Credit: Daniel Mena

As a result of the low demand for travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore's Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan decided on Monday, April 6th, that Singapore Changi's Terminal 2 will be closed. This will go into effect on May 1st, and will last for 18 months. As a result, all operations at that terminal will be moved to others. Because Singapore Airlines uses Terminal 2 for their Southeast Asian operations, they will be moving all operations to Terminal 3. The VP of Airport Management of the Changi Airport Group, Mr. Tan Lye Teck, said that "With airlines suspending flights in response to the sharply reduced travel demand, the consolidation efforts seek to help our airport partners during this difficult time. While the scale of our operations will be reduced in the near term, Changi Airport remains open to serve the airfreight and passenger flights that continue to operate. Even as our airport capacity is being optimized for the current situation, we will have the flexibility and we stand ready to ramp up operations quickly once the recovery takes place."


This follows other airports that are also closing terminals and runways to cope with the small number of flights. London Heathrow is using only one runway for its operations instead of the usual two. London City Airport, however, has suspended all of its operations. 


Regardless, the closing of Terminal 2 is also somewhat beneficial for the airport. Currently, the 30-year-old terminal is undergoing an expansion to increase its capacity by 5 million. With the terminal closed, the process will be accelerated by a year and is set to be completed by 2023 instead of the originally scheduled date of 2024. In the past, Singapore Changi had to expand due to the increasing demand for travel to and from Singapore. Therefore, while the demand is low, they are taking the opportunity to continue to expand their airport.  


Do you think the closing of Terminal 2 beneficial or disadvantageous? When will the industry return to its state before the pandemic started? Will Singapore Changi possibly extend this closure if the pandemic continues? Let us know in the comments.

Peter Lam
15 year old Plane Spotter; Based in Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport; Avgeek since July 23rd, 2017

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