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New record for Changi Airport with over 62m passengers in 2017

CHANGI Airport handled a record 62.2 million passengers last year, up 6 per cent, propelled by growth across all regions.

In particular, traffic to and from China and India - which are among Changi's top 10 country markets - expanded in the double-digits, with growth of 12 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, traffic from Kuala Lumpur rose 7 per cent, allowing the city to overtake Jakarta as the airport's busiest route.

Aircraft take-offs and landings were up by 3.5 per cent year on year to 373,200 landings and take-offs while cargo throughput grew by 7.9 per cent, surpassing two million tonnes for the first time to hit 2.13 million tonnes. Growth was seen for cargo throughput across imports (8 per cent), exports (14 per cent) and transshipments (4 per cent).

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Changi has also been ramping up efforts to cater to emerging passenger segments, such as fly-cruise and fly-ferry. Last year, a new shuttle service was launched to facilitate transfers between Changi Airport and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, which saw nearly 10,000 passengers using the service over a seven-month period. Changi Airport Group (CAG) has inked various collaborations with cruise companies, which are expected to bring in over 600,000 visitors over a four year period.

Lim Ching Kiat, CAG's managing director, air hub development, said: "2017 was a significant year for Changi Airport, as we saw strong growth in both passenger traffic and cargo throughput, resulting in record numbers. We also opened the new tech-friendly Terminal 4, which served 1.3 million passengers in its first two months of operations."

He added: "Looking ahead in 2018, we expect to see more developments in the long-haul segments to Europe. At the same time, we will continue our efforts to strengthen our connectivity to secondary cities in China and India - our fastest growing markets in 2017."

However, there are also challenges, such as intensifying competition from other airports around the world as well as ensuring infrastructure can keep pace with traffic growth.

Over the next 20 years, traffic at Changi Airport is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 3 to 4 per cent.

Terminals 1 through 4 offer a combined capacity of 82 million passengers per annum in total, while Project Jewel as well as the completion of Terminal 1's expansion in 2019 will add another three million.

Meanwhile, Terminal 5, which will come onstream in the late 2020s, will take the total capacity to 135 million passengers per year.

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