Coronavirus: Changi Airport T2 closes today, upgrade works to be accelerated

A view yesterday afternoon of Changi Airport's Terminal 2 arrivals hall, where some lights were switched off and very few people were around. T2's closure, for 18 months from today, allows the airport to cut costs as well as speed up its expansion wo
A view yesterday afternoon of Changi Airport's Terminal 2 arrivals hall, where some lights were switched off and very few people were around. T2's closure, for 18 months from today, allows the airport to cut costs as well as speed up its expansion works. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Changi Airport's Terminal 2 will be closed for 18 months from today as the airport cuts costs during the Covid-19 pandemic and gets a head start on planned upgrade works.

The last plane, NQ802, operated by Air Japan, departed for Tokyo yesterday at about 6.10am.

Changi Airport Group (CAG) said: "The suspension of operations will allow the T2 expansion works announced earlier to be accelerated. Scheduled for completion in 2024, the project can possibly be finished earlier by up to one year."

It noted that the steep decline in passenger traffic, which is likely to last for a while, will allow it to consolidate operations in fewer terminals and save on running costs.

Except for offices and car parks in public areas, all passenger processing facilities, such as check-in, immigration and arrivals, will be suspended, as will retail and catering operations.

CAG added that it is working with partners to identify retraining and redeployment opportunities for staff to protect as many jobs as possible during the pandemic.

Carriers with operations in T2 have been reallocated to T1 and T3. Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways, for example, now operate at T3. CAG has also noted that operations at T4 could be suspended as well, with only a small number of flights still landing there.

Almost all shops have closed and very few people were around when The Straits Times visited T2 yesterday. The lights at the departure hall were dimmed while some were switched off at the arrivals hall.

There will be no skytrain services to and from T2 but the link bridge to Jewel will remain open.

 

The pandemic has hit the aviation sector hard. The International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday that global passenger traffic data showed demand dived 52.9 per cent in March compared with the same month last year.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2020, with the headline 'Changi Airport T2 closes today, upgrade works to be accelerated'. Subscribe