Bangkok - Singapore is set to build a fifth terminal at Changi Airport that will double its current capacity by the mid-2020s, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said late on Sunday.
Changi currently has three terminals with a capacity of 66 million passengers a year, and a fourth is set to open in 2017.
But with Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport also planning to expand, Lee said Singapore must take steps to retain its status as a regional aviation hub.
“The question is do we want to stay this vibrant hub of South-East Asia, or do we want to let somebody take over our position, our business and our jobs?” he said in his annual National Day Rally speech on Sunday, according to reports.
“I think we must be part of this growth, plan ahead and continually build up Changi,” Today newspaper quoted him as saying.
Changi was named the world's best airport by Britain-based aviation consultancy Skytrax this year. Lee noted that the airport and related services provide 163 000 jobs in Singapore and account for six percent of the city-state's gross domestic product.
He did not mention the cost but said construction work on the fifth terminal would begin soon and be completed in 12 to 15 years.
In his speech, which followed Singapore's National Day on August 9, Lee also promised to revamp the education system and make housing more affordable. - Sapa-dpa