Covering an area of 13 square kilometres, Changi Airport is a major Asian aviation hub and the main airport in Singapore. Located in Changi, it is about 17. 2 kilometres north east from the commercial site. Changi Airport is served by 80 airlines with over 400,000 flights a year connecting to more than 180 cities in 59 countries, handling 37. 7 million passengers and ranking 19th busiest airport in the world. The airport is expecting to handle a total of 50milllion by 2012.
It is operated by the Civil Aviation of Singapore (CAAS), with Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, SilkAir, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Valuair, and Jett8 Airlines Cargo as its home base. Furthermore, the airport is one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, handling 1. 8million tonnes of cargo in 2008. Changi Airport contributes a big share in Singapore economy as approximately 13,000 people are employed at the airport and it also accounts over s$4. billion in output. With the numerous awards being awarded to Changi Airport in a 20 year period, it has become an icon in the aviation industry and serves as a benchmark for service excellence for other airports. Changi Airport operates five terminals consisting of Terminal 1, 2, 3, 4 and budget terminal. Terminal 1, 2, 3 are connected directly with a common transit area with sky train system, people movers and by walking to move within the three terminals.
On the other hand, Budget terminal is physically separated from the rest of the terminals via the connection of shuttle bus services from the three terminals. Terminal 1, which has an area of 280,020 m2, operates since 1981 and is able to house a maximum of 21 million passengers in a year. Terminal 2 started operating on 22 November 1990 and have an annual handling capacity of 23 million.
On the other hand, Terminal 3 has a handling capacity of 22 million, making the total handling capacity to around 70million passengers per annum, including Budget Terminal with 4 million passengers. Furthermore, Terminal 3 has 8 out of 28 aerobridge gates capable of accommodating Airbus A380. The 25,000 m2 Budget Terminal, purpose-built for low-cost carriers, is physically separated from the main terminals towards the south, where connections are possible via a free shuttle bus service to Terminal 2. The terminal has an annual handling capacity of about 2. 7 million passengers.