National Day Rally 2022: Future Plans for Singapore

At the National Day Rally 2022 held on August 21, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced plans for a "new business and lifestyle destination" to be built next to Changi Airport Terminal 5 and gave updates on the latest airport terminal, Tuas Port and the relocation of Paya Lebar Air Base, which could see 150,000 new homes built on the site.

Mr Lee spoke of the importance of continuing to upgrade the nation's airport and seaport given that they are critical to putting Singapore on the world stage. He said that the government’s decisions to press on with Changi Airport Terminal 5 and Tuas Port send a strong and clear signal to the world that Singapore is emerging stronger from the pandemic and charging full steam ahead.

Tuas Port

Illustration: Container operations at the City Terminals and Pasir Panjang Terminal have been moved to Tuas Port. The new port is automated and digitalized o coordinate operations more seamlessly, including vessel traffic management and port clearance.

According to Mr Lee, the first phase of Tuas Port is completed and the first two berths began operations last December. There are three more phases to go before it is fully completed in the 2040s. By then, it will have 66 berths and a handling capacity of 65 million standard-sized containers. For comparison, Pasir Panjang Terminal has 37 berths with a handling capacity of 34 million containers yearly.

Changi Airport Terminal 5

An artist's impression of Changi Airport's Terminal 5. In terms of capacity, T5 will have 50 million passengers, which is equal to T1 plus T3. Next to T5 will be the Changi East Urban District, a new business and lifestyle destination, creating more jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans.

Expected to be completed by the mid-2020s, Changi Airport Terminal 5 is designed with the flexibility to operate as smaller sub-terminals when needed. Space within the terminal can be converted for use during contingencies, such as for testing operations or the segregation of high-risk passengers. There will be special provisions deployed within Terminal 5 to reduce the transmission of diseases such as contactless systems at passenger touch points and enhanced ventilation systems. 

Paya Lebar Air Base

Illustration: Paya Lebar Air Base is envisaged to be transformed into a new town with 150,000 residential units. There will be amenities and recreational facilities close by as well as commercial and industrial developments to bring jobs closer to our homes.

The relocation of the air base will start in the 2030s. The 3.8km runway could be repurposed into the town’s central spine or it can be turned into a green connector or a community space.  An estimated 150,000 new homes, both public and private, can be built along both sides of the spine similar to the number of homes in both Punggol and Sengkang combined. Mr Lee said that once the air base moves out, it will be possible to lift the height restrictions of some buildings around it.