SINGAPORE - Changi Airport Terminal 2 will reopen progressively from May 29 as the air hub prepares to meet an expected increase in passenger traffic in the months ahead.
The terminal has been closed for upgrading works since May 2020.
When completed by 2024, the expansion works will raise the terminal's capacity by five million to 28 million passenger movements per year, said Changi Airport Group (CAG) on Sunday (May 22).
In the first phase of the reopening, key touchpoints such as arrival immigration, baggage claim belts and contact gates at the southern wing of the terminal will be ready for flight operations.
The terminal will host mainly peak-hour arrival flights of airlines operating in T3.
A small number of T3 departure flights may use the boarding gates at T2, although passengers on these flights will continue to check in and clear departure immigration at T3.
Those who are heading to Changi to receive passengers are advised to check which terminal an arriving flight has been assigned to.
The information will be available on the Changi Airport website and the iChangi app at least two hours before the flight's arrival time.
The expanded T2 will see a larger arrival immigration hall with more automated immigration as well as special assistance lanes.
The automated immigration lanes will serve Singaporeans and residents who have enrolled their iris and facial biometrics with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, as well as eligible foreign visitors who have done the same upon their arrival in Singapore.
The number of automated immigration lanes will be increased as more passengers are enrolled, said CAG.
Special assistance lanes will feature a wider width than conventional ones. This will allow passengers with mobility aids, as well as big family groups, to clear immigration more easily.
The baggage claim hall will include three collection belts, with one that has been lengthened to handle more bags.
Mr Tan Lye Teck, CAG's executive vice-president of airport management, said CAG is encouraged to see the strong pickup in travel demand and has worked closely with its partners to bring forward the progressive reopening of T2 ahead of the June travel peak to meet this demand.
"The start of flight operations at T2 will provide more capacity to support our airline partners, who are also gearing up to serve more passengers in the months ahead. T2 will reopen in phases over the next two years to support Changi's recovery as a regional air hub," said Mr Tan.
Singapore had reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on April 1, in a move to restore the Changi air hub.
Travellers do not need to take only designated flights to enter Singapore quarantine-free, or undergo a Covid-19 antigen rapid test within 24 hours of arrival.
Quotas were lifted on the number of daily arrivals, and entry approvals were no longer needed for vaccinated travellers. The requirement for pre-entry Covid-19 tests was removed on April 26.
Last Wednesday, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said 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, the Republic is nearing its target of 50 per cent - a goal it had set out to reach by year end.
Mr Brendan Sobie of Sobie Aviation told The Straits Times recently that intra-Asean passenger traffic is now fast picking up, as all borders have opened and virtually all testing requirements have been lifted.
He added that the region was relatively slow at resolving the issue of vaccine recognition, but some progress has finally been made.
As Changi Airport embarks on one of its biggest recruitment drives in response to a rebound in air travel, the airport and its partners are looking to hire more than 6,600 workers. A major part of this drive will be through the One Aviation Careers Fair 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 applicants 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.
What travellers can expect
• Phased reopening to start from May 29.
• Upgrading and expansion works that began in May 2020 will be completed by 2024. By then, the terminal will be able to handle up to 28 million passengers a year, five million more than before.
• Arrival immigration baggage claim belts and contact gates at the southern wing of the terminal will open first.
• T2 will host mainly peak-hour arrival flights now operating in Terminal 3.
• A small number of T3 departure flights may use boarding gates at T2. Passengers on these flights will continue to check in and clear departure immigration at T3.
• There will be a larger arrival immigration hall with more automated immigration and special assistance lanes. •Special assistance lanes allow passengers with mobility aids and big family groups to clear immigration more easily.
• There will be three collection belts. One of them has been lengthened to handle more bags.