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Aviation trade body voices objection on passengers pre-funding Changi Airport Terminal 5

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced its objection against any attempt by Singapore to charge travellers to help fund the construction of its new Changi Airport Terminal 5.

The airline industry's most prominent trade body stressed that it is "strongly against any pre-financing of any infrastructure".

IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac told a media roundtable as part of the Singapore Airshow on Monday (5 February) that passengers should not pay first without having the infrastructure ready to be operated and used by airlines and by the users.

Mr de Juniac said that low-cost carriers need traffic growth of 6 per cent to 9 per cent to fill aircraft to be delivered in the next five to seven years.

He noted that air cargo traffic is forecast to rise 4.5 percent this year, compared with a 9 per cent gain in 2017, slower inventory increase will lead to smaller but solid growth for air cargo.

Mr de juniac also said that China needs more airspace for civil aviation and to modernise its air-traffic control system for long-term traffic growth and that China's M503 route for flights between the mainland and Taiwan is safe and efficient.

The Straits Times reported in January that passengers flying out of Changi Airport may have to pay S$10 to S$15 extra as part of a new tax being considered to help pay for the expansion, including the building of Terminal 5.

Other than passengers, fees for airlines, including parking and landing fees, are expected to increase by about 30 per cent to support the building of the new terminal. Airport operator Changi Airport Group will also commit a sizeable portion of its annual profits to the development

However, the Transport Minister has earlier stated that the Government will still bear "a large proportion" of total costs for the Changi East project.

A ministry spokesman told the media that it has been consulting industry stakeholders together with the CAAS, saying, "Details have not yet been firmed up and we are still considering various options."

There is still no official announcement yet as how much the project will cost.

Many netizens had voiced strong opinions against the practice to pass the cost to passengers, saying that there is no proper budgeting skills and that the country does not need another terminal.