SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Budget Terminal entered its final night of operations on Monday.
It has seen 18 million passengers and 150,000 flights pass through over its six—year lifespan.
Taking its place will be Terminal Four, with construction slated to begin next year and expected to be ready by 2017.
Signs were up at the Budget Terminal informing passengers of the closure.
The last flight departed at 2am on Tuesday.
Thereafter, low—cost carriers will operate from Changi Airport’s Terminal Two.
The facility for budget flights was conceived to cater to the growing popularity of low—cost carriers in the region.
Singapore’s low—cost airline hub commenced operations on 26 March 2006.
In less than a decade, it had to make way for the building of Changi Airport’s fourth full—fledged terminal.
Prior to that, the emergence of more budget carriers in Asia prompted Singapore to dedicate a facility to feed growing demand for cheap flights.
The terminal had a no—frills layout — with basic amenities and none of the famed fancy facilities found in other parts of Singapore’s airport.
But within two years of opening, rapid growth in the low—cost carrier market pushed the need for more upgrades.
On 6 March 2008, former Second Minister for Transport Lim Hwee Hua, was quoted as saying, "We will be expanding the Budget Terminal from its current capacity of 2.7 million passengers per annum to 7 million passengers per annum at an estimated cost of 10 million dollars."
Completed in eight months, the expansion gave the facility more check—in counters and boarding gates. But passenger loads continued growing.
In 2011, the last full year of operations, the complex handled 4.6 million travellers.
The new terminal taking its place will cater to continued growth of air traffic at Changi Airport and help further strengthen Singapore’s air hub status.
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