Travellers flying out of Changi Airport and airlines operating in the area may be asked for extra fees and charges from as early as next year to help pay for the future Terminal 5 (T5), which is slated for completion around 2030.
The Changi East development is being built near the current airport, which includes major infrastructure, ground works at the over 1,000 ha site and he building of massive drains and tunnels, some of which will move bags and people between T5 and the current airport.
T5 is expected to eventually handle up to 70 million passengers a year - more than T1, T2 and T3 combined - when completed. However, according to the Straits Times, the third runway being built in the same project will be operational before that, in the early 2020s.
There is still no official announcement yet as how much the project will cost.
Many netizens took to social media to express their displeasure in response to the news reports.
Irene Soh wrote, "Small island so many Terminals for what? Don't give excuse like T1 and T2 old already and cant handle too many visitors! Just upgrade them will do."
Samuel Peh wrote, "Ridiculous excuse. If no budget, delay the project. Why need to get the passengers to pay for extra? We have been surviving with 2 airports for so many years. Now we have 4 terminals. Why should government rush into T5 project and get us to pay for their extensions? Being a citizen here, we felt so useless at times because we can't object any of your decisions. You are just like a big bully!"
Peter Tan wrote, "In the end, the ordinary folk has to fork out more besides having to cope with constant rising of almost everything necessary for day to day living even a new airport does not comes free fat hope. Congratulations to all who voted for the party they dearly loved so much."
Mua Mok Ting wrote, "This is a sign that our government is running low on cash, reserves or even deficit. I don't remember they did this for T1 to T4."
Sky Sim Kim Yu wrote, "Wah lau! Got money buy so much airbus from USA, but no money to build T,5 sibei jialat. Never use brain one."
Mabell Ong wrote, ""But even with the new tax on passengers and higher fees from airlines, the Transport Ministry has said the Government will still bear "a large proportion" of total costs for the Changi East project." When it is stated government will still bear a large portion of the total cost, where does government get the money? It will still be coming from taxes collected from tax payers! In the end, it's still tax payers money whether it's government paying (using taxes collected) or additional tax imposed.
I hope the government will start being prudent in the way we spend our Ah kong' s blood money and tax payers' money. Especially in projects like this and the way various government agency spending money. Please tighten the belt instead of burdening the public with taxes after taxes."
Aspa M Hatta wrote, "The millionaire Ministers ought to have 30 percent cut from the salaries to contribute for better Singapore. It's unfair to make the people pay for something that'll profit the government overall."
Keith Low wrote, ""Passengers will not be alone in bearing higher charges. Fees for airlines, including parking and landing fees, are expected to increase by about 30 per cent, said sources"
And the airlines will pass some of this to the passengers?"
Chiok Chai wrote, "Must be a shocking year for everyone to see payments, taxes increases all round despite being a rich country. Where the money goes?"
Andrew Lee wrote, "This is one good example of overspending without proper budgeting skills. You are already broke and you expect people to fork out money for your ambitions.
What disappoints me is how people still rely on a group of individuals like that to create a country they can have a future in."
Marcus Shawn wrote, "Once goes up, will never come down. Like petrol. They impose 0.20 increase when petrol cheap. Now up, they never remove. Same as this. After T5 up, the tax will be the same."
Lai Heng Tan wrote, "OK, the reason given for the extra taxes is to pay for T5. At 44 dollars it is more expensive than HK airport. Given it will take around 10 years to complete T5, it will earn billions of taxes. What happens when T5 complete? Will the tax return to previous level or will be Singaporean given a rebate. How much does T5 actually cost ? All the papers only agreed that it will cost a lot but what is the actual sum or budget? Considering the massive amount of money invested in this project the lack of information is baffling."
William Ong wrote, "Where is your statistical chart showing that there is a need for this charge? Any proper justification ? HDB increased parking similar issue no justification , please show us with data instead of just informing citizens that you will implement the dates, in this case we will loose faith in the government."
Alex Toh wrote, "Airlines will not be consider paying when they will just increase the fares to cover those payment and for us, we will be paying for both sides when the airports are being build by using our income taxes money. So, in the end, we are the one who suffer from all this."
Charles Rajan wrote, "This is so silly. At first it was Singapore Airlines now its the airport. If you are going to earn from 70 million passengers in the future, are you going to redistribute the profits to those who contributed with initial funding? The poor citizens who have no choice but to travel through Changi Airport? There will also be a transferred fare increase by all airlines landing in Singapore that we will have to bear? Maybe, it's time to analyse does a small island like Singapore need 5 terminals?"
Sam Lim wrote, "Just admit it, you skunk! You will name it LKYIA and claimed we contributed it! Load of crap! Nanyang, you was still the only landmark people contributed without reservation. The same one LKY destroyed!"
Harry Chia wrote, "A more preferable way would be to levy the tax retrospectively when T5 is completed. Then passengers, airlines and others would see if that tax is justifiable as the terminal will be fully operational and if as good as plan, paying it would not be an issue."
KH Chng wrote, "I don’t think it’s is right and fair for Citizens to pay this new taxes. We have already paid income and other taxes each year. We shouldn’t be paying tax for future development, however, a nominal fee is acceptable if insists. Elderly may not even see the new airport when ready."
Philip Lim wrote, "Government is so hungry for money. Tax everywhere. Not forgetting much money needed also to pay for their minsters' multi-million dollar salaries as well as online "influencers" to act as their mouthpiece."
Andrew Tan wrote, "Cannot cut the ministers and Temasek top earners pay to pay for the T5 airport meh? I tot they got a lot more money than necessary than us lor. Why we must pay for T5 if it doesn't pay us higher pay but pay ministers higher pay for GDP growth?"
Simon Lam wrote, "Why impose tax on passengers? Definitely, there are other ways to impose tax. SIA wanted to impose 'tax' on commuters but was u-turn. As such, now our government use this excuse to generate revenue from us. Thank you 69.86 percent as you had created a wonderful government for us."
However, some agreed with this move.
Nigel Lim wrote, "Why isn't this appropriate? As a transport hub, the majority of users aren't Singaporeans and I feel the best way to build T5 is to tax travellers to recoup part of the building cost instead of asking the Singapore government to pay for it from their coffer."
Au Kah Kay wrote, 'It is not uncommon for airports to fund future developments and upgrading works by raising passenger service taxes. The revised passenger service charge will only apply to passengers using Changi Airport ie. pay per use. For those who do not travel by air, it is a non issue.
Singaporeans have a great appetite for travel. The $10 to $15 increase in PSC is not going to deter Singaporeans from taking their regular overseas vacations."
Malcolm Goh wrote, "If the expansion is not planned but when the need arises there will be again finger pointing on why was there no projection for the need. Which is what is being done currently.
As SE ASIA is projected to explode in air travel from countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and China's BELT ROAD project. The Singapore government has to think ahead not just the short term but also for the next few generations(20 up to 50 years from now)."