June 16, 2020 / 7:55 AM / 18 days ago

Singapore to halt construction on new airport terminal for two years

A view of an empty Changi Airport Terminal 2 a day before its 18-month closure due to the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore April 30, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore will halt construction of the fifth terminal at its Changi Airport for at least two years to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the aviation sector and the future of travel, the city-state’s transport minister said on Tuesday.

The government was carrying out a study of how the aviation sector will change, and the design of new terminal would be altered to account for new safety requirements as well as changing needs of airlines, Khaw Boon Wan said.

“We have decided to take a pause for two years. Let us complete this study of the future of aviation,” Khaw said, according to an audio recording of his remarks on a video conference call provided by the transport ministry.

The fifth terminal was scheduled to be completed in the 2030s, and was to handle up to 50 million passengers per year in its initial phase. Changi was among the world’s busiest airports in 2019, with more than 68 million passengers, before travel crashed this year due to the pandemic.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Louise Heavens

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