SINGAPORE - A new two-storey passenger terminal which will be big enough to handle up to 700,000 passengers a year will open at Seletar Airport at the end of 2018.
The total capacity is more than 26 times the number of passengers that the airport, which now caters mainly to private jets, handled in 2015.
The current terminal will be torn down when the new facility opens, Changi Airport Group said on Thursday (Oct 20) at the groundbreaking for the future terminal.
The construction of the new $50 million passenger facility is the next stage of the renewal of Seletar Airport.
Redevelopment commenced in 2008 and since then, the airport has seen several enhancements including the lengthening of its runway, the construction of a new control tower and fire station, a doubling of the number of parking stands, additional taxiways and upgraded aircraft parking aprons.
The Seletar upgrade aims to establish Singapore, already a major hub for commercial carriers like Singapore Airlines, as a centre for private jets as well.
When the new terminal opens, all scheduled turboprop flights from Changi Airport, including flights operated by Firefly, will also be moved there.
This is necessary to free up capacity at Changi Airport to cope with a growing number of flights and passengers.
For safety reasons, smaller planes, including turboprops, need a greater separation distance from other aircraft when taking off or landing, aviation experts say.
The new terminal at Seletar will have a gross floor area of 9,500 sq m, of which 500 sq m will be dedicated to serving business aviation passengers.
To handle scheduled commercial flights, the departure area will have four check-in counters, four immigration counters, two security screening stations and a gate holdroom which can seat close to 200 passengers.
Passengers travelling on chartered business jets and private jets can look forward to a private drop-off area and a dedicated check-in area where they will be able to enjoy quick pre-departure clearance in a private and exclusive setting, Changi Airport Group said.
The terminal will also feature amenities such a lounge area and dedicated immigration and security screening areas for these passengers.
On the airside, passengers will be able to board their flights conveniently with three aircraft parking stands adjacent to the terminal.
This reduces the need for passengers to be bussed, enabling greater operational efficiency and faster aircraft turnaround time.
The three aircraft parking stands will be supplemented by another 60 located at the rest of the airport.
Mr See Seng Wan, general manager of Seletar Airport, said: "We have made good progress with the redevelopment of Seletar Airport in recent years. Today's groundbreaking for the new terminal is another milestone in our plans for the airport. We look forward to providing passengers with a new level of experience, in terms of comfort and convenience, when the terminal opens."
Mr Daniel Ng, director (aviation industry) at the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), said: "The expansion of Seletar Airport will accommodate the growth of our air traffic and optimise operational resources. The new passenger terminal building will also complement operations at Changi Airport and allow for more capacity."