The government of Singapore has paused the mega project to build Terminal 5 at Changi Airport for at least two years while it assesses the future of aviation in a world with Covid-19.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced the decision on 16 June during an online meeting, The Straits Times reports.
He said the government is carrying out a lengthy study into how aviation will change, adding that, if T5 goes ahead, its design will be changed to account for new virus safety requirements.
"We are consulting as widely as we can. Big questions remain, and we don’t think we will get the answers very quickly within the next few months," he said.
"It may take us a couple of years, and that is why we have decided to take a pause in the T5 project… So at the minimum, I think we will push it back by two years."
If the pandemic had not happened the government would soon be calling for major civil engineering tenders to meet its initial timeline for finishing the terminal in the 2030s.
T% was intended to handle 50 million passengers a year when open.
According to The Straits Times, it covers an area equivalent to about 667 football fields
In April, Changi Airport handled just 25,200 passenger movements, a 99.5% per cent drop from the same time last year, said the Times.
Until a vaccine is found, there will be fears of future waves of Covid-19 outbreaks, added Mr Khaw.
"Because of all these great uncertainties, we have been doing a major thorough study about aviation, and how it will be like in the next two years, three years, four years, post-pandemic," he said.
Image: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 in Brisbane, November 2019 (DS28/CC BY-SA 4.0)