On 30th June 1981, Changi Airport was established. Before this the airport was based in Paya Lebar. On the next day (1st July) terminal 1 officially becomes part of the global air movement operation with the arrival of its first flight; SQ101, carrying 140 passengers at 0700hrs. The first departing flight leaves for Penang (Malaysia) at 0800hrs on the same day.
At around 2 weeks since its opening Changi airport had received roughly 250,000 visitors.
Few years later (1986) and due to the overwhelming number of passengers construction work for a 2nd Terminal had commenced. At this point Changi Airport had surpassed the 10 million passenger mark. In 1988 Changi Airport received its first ‘Best Airport’ award from Business Traveller UK.
In 1990, 52 airlines are operating with 1,900 weekly flights to 111 cities in 52 countries. In 1991 terminal 2 is officially opened to accommodate the ever-growing number of passengers.
Changi is now Asia’s most connected international airport and is currently ranked in the top 10 airports globally.
In 2022 work is going to resume to Changi’s terminal 5 after a 2-year pause. This is to help build up the country’s future capacity as the aviation industry recovers faster than expected from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The return of international air travel in the first quarter of 2022 has been hugely encouraging for the industry. Experts have claimed the international air travel is likely to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels by 2023, one year earlier than expected.
At Changi Airport the government had a target that numbers would hit 50% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. In May 2022 the numbers have already crossed 40%.
With construction to Terminal 5 recommencing the view is it will be fully operational around the mid-2030’s just in time to meet an anticipated doubling of volume in the next two decades.
Changi Airport is renowned for its unrivalled passenger experiences, which have become synonymous with global connectivity, clockwork efficiency and unique thoughtful services. With the number of passengers continuing to rise and the needs of those passengers becoming increasingly sophisticated. Changi is aiming to raise the bar.
Passenger traffic at Changi Airport is on the up with predictions showing an increase in footfall of 3-4% every year for the next 20 years. The Changi East development is in response to this expected increase. It is a bold strategy to maintain its competitive edge long term. The overall project includes a new third runway, one of the worlds largest mega terminals and a range of new facilities. The Changi East project will ensure that the Airport is able to accommodate ever more passengers as demand increases.