The operator of Singapore's Changi International Airport will close the airport’s Budget Terminal on September 25 and then demolish it, just six years after...

Changi Airport Group (CAG), the operator of Singapore’s Changi International Airport, will close the airport’s Budget Terminal on September 25 and then demolish it, just six years after the terminal opened.

In its place a larger passenger terminal will be built to allow air traffic at Singapore Changi International Airport to continue to grow, strengthening Singapore’s status as a global air hub.

The new terminal, to be known as Terminal 4, will have a capacity of 16 million passengers per annum (mppa). CAG says it will be designed to enable efficient passenger processing and quick turnarounds of aircraft, and will not have jetways.

Terminal 4 will also have a wider choice of retail and food and beverage offerings, as well as passenger amenities that will serve the needs of travelers better, according to the airport operator.

A new Terminal 4 capable of handling 16 million passengers a year is to replace Changi International Airport's existing Budget Terminal. Changi's Budget Terminal was marked for closure in September 2012, just six years after it opened, followed by demolition to make way for the new, larger terminal

To facilitate the construction of Terminal 4, airlines currently operating in Changi’s Budget Terminal will move their operations to the airport’s Terminal 2. The affected airlines are Berjaya Air, Cebu Pacific Air, Firefly, South East Asian Airlines and Tiger Airways.

The existing Budget Terminal handled more than 4.6 million passengers in 2011. CAG says Changi Airport, with a total capacity of more than 70 mppa, still has room to accommodate air traffic growth, but CAG wants to plan far ahead to ensure there is capacity to handle further increases in traffic demand.

Over the past decade, passenger traffic at Changi Airport has increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.2 per cent.  In 2011, Changi handled a total of 46.5 million passenger movements, a year-on-year increase of 10.7 per cent and the airport’s highest-ever passenger count since it opened in 1981.

According to CAG, one of the main drivers of Changi’s growth in recent years has been the traffic volume generated by low-cost carriers (LCCs), on account of its relatively smaller base in comparison with the passenger traffic generated by full-service carriers.

LCCs now make up a 25 per cent share of Changi’s total passenger volume, compared to just 7.7 per cent in 2006, when the Budget Terminal first opened.

Another major Changi Airport expansion project, the upgrading of Terminal 1 (which started in 2008), will be completed later this year.

CAG says that in addition to improvements made to upgrade the 31-year-old structure’s exterior and interior, the enhancement will also offer travelers an enlarged transit area. The terminal’s transit area has been expanded into the airside by 35 meters (115 feet).

Additionally, Terminal 1 will now feature more spacious waiting areas and additional retail and dining options.

However, says CAG, as Singapore’s attractiveness as a destination grows, more passengers are making stop-overs in Singapore instead of just using Changi Airport as a transit point.  Accordingly, Changi will embark on an expansion of Terminal 1 to increase its passenger capacity from 21 mppa to 24 mppa.

The open-air car park between Terminal 1 and Changi’s control tower will be redeveloped into a multi-use complex. This new complex will be integrated with the existing building, and will increase Terminal 1’s public areas, pick-up driveways, and car park spaces.

Beyond capacity expansion, Terminal 1 will also have dedicated facilities to support fly-cruise and fly-coach initiatives. More retail space and traveler amenities will also be introduced to enhance passengers’ overall experience.

To search for low fares, click here. To find hotel deals in Singapore, go here.