Changi Airport has awarded a $1.12 billion contract to develop a three-runway system that will allow for more flights to be handled as demand for air travel increases.
With two runways now operational, the plan is to add a third strip as part of the development of Changi East, which includes a new mega passenger terminal, Terminal 5.
The third runway will be the one now used for military flights but which is separated from the current airport premises by Changi Coast Road. This will be lengthened and connected to the two existing runways via a 40km network of taxiways.
The award of the contract comes after several years of land preparation and marks the start of the construction phase for the Changi East project.
Announcing that the contract would go to a joint venture by Samsung C&T Corporation and Koh Brothers, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said yesterday that it was the first of several for the runway works. The entire project will be completed by the early 2020s.
The scope of the current contract includes pavement and drainage works, security fencing and perimeter roads, mechanical and electrical works, as well as supporting works such as road diversions.
To support three-runway operations at Changi Airport, airfield systems, including lighting as well as surveillance and detection systems, will also be installed.
Mr Yam Kum Weng, CAG's executive vice-president (air hub and development), said: "In addition to terminal capacity, airfield capacity is a critical determinant of an airport's growth potential. Hence, the operationalisation of a three-runway system is a crucial part of Changi Airport's development plans."
The development of Changi East and construction of T5 are aimed at solidifying Changi Airport's position as a premier hub for global and regional passengers.
T5, which is slated to open in the middle of the next decade, will eventually be able to handle more passengers than the 66 million a year that T1, T2 and T3 combined are now able to accommodate.
Even as runway works are being carried out, Changi Airport will work closely with the firms to ensure high safety standards and minimum impact to travellers, Mr Yam said.