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    Nov 03, 2014

    $1.1b to prep land for T5 and runway

    IT WILL cost more than a billion dollars to clear the land and strengthen the soil before Changi Airport's Terminal 5 and third runway can be built, underlining the scale and complexity of a project to boost Changi's competitiveness.

    A $1.1 billion contract - believed to be the largest so far for the airport project - has been awarded to a team comprising Japanese construction firm Penta-Ocean, which specialises in marine works and land reclamation, and Singapore's Koon Construction and Transport.

    A spokesman for the Transport Ministry told The Straits Times that the works to be carried out "are complex in nature and in more than 70 phases across more than 1,000ha" - just slightly smaller than the airport's current premises.

    The works will be carried out over the next few years, she said.

    T5, which will be built on reclaimed land, will be Changi's biggest. To be completed in the middle of the next decade, T5 will be able to process up to 50 million passengers a year - more than T2 and T3 put together.

    The project - the biggest airport works since the move from Paya Lebar Airport to Changi in 1981 - aims to cement Changi Airport's position as the region's premier airport and hub.

    From 66 million passengers now, Changi will be able to handle up to 85 million by 2018, when T4 is ready and T1 is expanded. By the time T5 starts operating, Changi's annual capacity will hit 135 million passengers.

    Besides a new mega terminal, a third runway is also planned.

    An existing landing strip at the site, currently used for military flights, will be strengthened and lengthened, after which it will be linked to the existing two runways via 40km of taxiways.

    There are also plans to build aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, as well as hotels and offices, at the new site.

    To integrate the operations of the existing airport and future terminal, work has already started on a new road to replace Changi Coast Road, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.

    In anticipation of higher traffic in the future, work is also being done to expand Tanah Merah Coast Road, a spokesman said.

    This will also ensure smooth traffic flow during the construction phase, when trucks and other heavy vehicles travel to and from the site, he said.

    The two road contracts - worth a total of about $81 million - were awarded in April, LTA said, and the works are expected to be done by the middle of 2017.

    Kok Min Yee, general manager of Tanah Merah Country Club said: "So far, the works have not led to any complaints from members."

    If traffic is affected, the club would "certainly take it up" with LTA, he said.