Changi Airport Terminal 2 could partially reopen as early as next month: Sources

Terminal 2 has been undergoing planned renovation works during the closure. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Changi Airport Terminal 2 could reopen partially as early as next month, The Straits Times has learnt.

During a town-hall session with Changi Airport Group (CAG) in April, airport tenants were told that part of the arrival hall could reopen as early as June - just over two years after T2 was shut in May 2020.

Meanwhile, a partial reopening of the departure and transit areas could take place as early as October.

The actual timing of the reopening will depend on the findings of a feasibility study and manpower availability, among other considerations.

In response to queries about the plans, a CAG spokesman said: "Changi Airport Group will reopen T2 progressively this year to meet the increasing demand for air travel and the growth in passenger traffic.

"The public will be informed when T2 is ready to resume operations, so that passengers and visitors can have timely and correct information."

The terminal has been undergoing planned renovation works during the closure.

The closure was initially scheduled to last for 18 months, but was extended with air traffic still remaining low late last year.

When renovation works are fully completed, the upgraded T2 will feature a nature-inspired design, a new check-in hall and more baggage belts, among other improvements.

When ST visited T2 on Friday afternoon, dozens of workers were seen inside the arrival hall.

The flooring was largely done and there were sofa chairs already placed in the hall. The place was fully lit and partially decorated with plants.

But equipment such as ladders and scaffolding were still in place at places where work was ongoing.

A few workers were seen cleaning the floor at the taxi pick-up point outside the arrival hall, but the pick-up point remained blocked off.

Several workers leaving the facility told ST that they heard a partial reopening was slated for next month.

The renovation works for the departure hall were, however, seemingly much less advanced.

Loud renovation noises were heard from the hall and scaffolding was seen through gaps in the hoardings.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran had said on Wednesday that the strong recovery of passenger traffic through Changi Airport is expected to gain momentum with the upcoming June holidays and start of the summer travel period overseas.

With passenger traffic now averaging above 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, Singapore is nearing its target of 50 per cent - a goal it had set out to reach by the year end.

OAG Aviation's Asia head Mayur Patel said: "As Changi Airport accelerates capacity growth, it will progressively open T2 to take advantage of the pickup in traffic following the reopening of the borders.

"This will allow foreign carriers to add more flights. It will also allow SIA (Singapore Airlines) to expand its frequency as it is currently operating mainly from T3 but using some of the connected gates into the Terminal 1 area."

Mr Patel said manpower issues would be the main variable factor affecting the reopening timeline of the terminal.

Changi Airport and its partners are looking to hire more than 6,600 workers, as the airport embarks on one of its biggest recruitment drives in response to a fierce rebound in air travel.

A major part of this drive will be through the One Aviation Careers Fair to take place at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 27 and 28.

More than 20 aviation companies will be conducting on-site interviews, and people may be hired on the spot.

Hiring will be focused on filling front-line passenger service positions, as well as newly created roles in innovation and technology.

Behind-the-scenes workers such as ground handlers will also be in high demand, with both Sats and dnata looking for more hands.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.