Civil aviation in Singapore has a rich history dating back to pre-World War II. The development and growth of Singapore Changi Airport is very much part of this history. You can trace the major milstones here.
1929 - 1955
• Singapore's first airport, Seletar Air Base, a military installation is completed.
• First commercial flight lands in Singapore (February)
• The then colonial government decides to build a new airport at Kallang Basin.
• Kallang Airport receives its first aircraft (21 November)
• Kallang Airport is declared open (12 June). It goes on to function for just 15 years (1937–1942; 1945-1955)
• A site at Paya Lebar is chosen for the new airport.
• Resettlement of residents and reclamation of marshy ground at Paya Lebar commences.
• 20 August: Paya Lebar airport is officially opened.
• June: Decision is taken by the Government to develop Changi as the new airport to replace Paya Lebar. Site preparations at Changi, including massive earthworks and reclamation from the sea, begin.
• Final Master Plan for Changi Airport, based on a preliminary plan drawn up by then Airport Branch of Public Works Department (PWD), is endorsed by Airport Consultative Committee of the International Air Transport Association.
• May: Reclamation and earthworks at Changi is completed.
• June: Start of basement construction for Changi Airport Phase 1.
• August: Foundation stone of main Terminal 1 superstructure is laid.
• Start of Phase II development of Changi Airport. Work starts on Runway 2.
• 12 May: Changi Airport receives its first commercial aircraft.
• June: Construction of Terminal 1 is completed.
• 1 July: Terminal 1 starts scheduled flight operations.
• 29 December: Changi Airport is officially declared open.
• Construction of Runway 2 is completed.
• 17 April: Runway 2 is commissioned.
• July: Ministry of Finance approves government grant for construction of Terminal 2.
• 1 September: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), formerly known as the Department of Civil Aviation, is formed.
• January: Piling works starts for Terminal 2.
• Construction on Terminal 2 and its associated works start.
• Changi Airport surpasses the 10 million passenger milestone.
• Changi Airport wins its first 'Best Airport in the World' title from Business Traveller(UK) magazine.
• 22 November: Terminal 2 opens for scheduled flight operations.
• 1 June: Terminal 2 is officially opened.
• Changi Airport surpasses the 20 million passenger milestone
• 6 January: Terminal 1's refurbishment, which cost S$170 million, is completed.
• 20 July: Opening of two new finger piers at Terminal 2. The construction project cost S$330million.
• 2 December: Go-ahead is given for a third passenger terminal at Changi Airport.
• 21-22 January: Singapore and the United States initial an open skies agreement, a first in Asia to conclude such agreement with the US.
• 25 September: Changi Airport is voted 'Best Airport in the World' by Business Traveller (UK) for 10th consecutive year.
• 17 October: The fifth cargo agents building, Cargo Agents Building E (CAB "E") is completed and officially opened.
• CAAS introduces Changi Airport's Quality Service Management Programme focusing on awareness-building of Changi Airport among frontline staff, customer service training and incentive programmes.
• December: Commencement of works to extend Terminal 1's finger pier "C".
• Passengers transiting at Changi Airport are exempted from paying the passenger service charge from early 1999.
• Completion of Terminal's 1 Extension. The S$420 million project adds two new finger piers consisting of 14 aerobridges.
• 28 May: CAAS receives its first 'Eagle Award' for Best Airport from the International Air Transport Association.
• 27 February: Official opening of the Changi Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station. The S$850 million project involved a 6km MRT line extension from the Tanah Merah MRT station.
• 1 March: Introduction of the Passenger Security Service Charge at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport.
• 1 March: Official opening of the Changi Business Aviation Centre (now replaced by the JetQuay CIP Terminal), specially catered for senior business executives flying into Changi Airport on their private jets.
• 25 November: CAAS announces a three-year (effective 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2005) S$210 million Air Hub Development Fund to help airlines and the aviation industry tide over the uncertainty in the global aviation industry.
• November: Completion of a new Cargo Agents Building, Changi Megaplex 1.
• 20 March: Official opening of Airport Logistics Park of Singapore (ALPS). The S$35 million ALPS is located next to the Changi Airfreight Centre and is gazetted as a Free Trade Zone.
• April: Commencement of works to upgrade Terminal 2.
• July: CAAS is awarded the Singapore Quality Award by SPRING Singapore, a premier award presented to organisations in that have achieved the highest standards of business excellence.
• 20 July: CAAS announces new S$45 million terminal dedicated for use by low cost carriers, with commitment from Tiger Airways to operate.
• Changi Airport surpasses 30 million passenger milestone.
• August: CAAS unveils the first A380-compatible gate holdroom, F31, and announces the installation of a third Passenger Loading Bridge (aerobridge) at all 19 A380-compatible gate holdrooms at Changi Airport.
• 11 November: Changi Airport becomes the first airport outside Europe to welcome the A380 when the super jumbo double-decker aircraft arrives for airport compatibility verification tests. Changi is also the first airport in the world to have a completed third aerobridge ready for simulation tests with the A380 aircraft.
• CAAS announces the introduction of total passenger charge of S$13 for travellers departing from the Budget Terminal.
• 1 January: CAAS sets up the Air Hub Development Fund (AHDF) 2 of S$300 million for a three-year period. AHDF2 is an enhanced extension of the S$210 million AHDF which expired on 31 December 2005.
• 26 March: Opening of Budget Terminal for scheduled flight operations. The dedicated terminal for low cost carriers is Asia's first.
• CAAS awards a site at Changi Airport for lease to L.C. Development Ltd for the development and management of a nine-storey airport hotel.
• 3 May: CAAS holds its inaugural 'Changi Airline Awards' ceremony to celebrate the strong partnership between the Authority and airlines operating at Changi Airport.
• May: CAAS awards a tender to a joint venture company to develop and manage the JetQuay CIP Terminal.
• 29 May: Terminal 3 Topping-Out Ceremony.
• 1 July: Changi Airport celebrates its 25th birthday. A gala dinner for about 1,000 airport staff and guests, graced by Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, is held at Swissotel the Stamford.
• August: The Budget Terminal welcomes its second airline, Cebu Pacific Airways.
• 13 September: Official completion of S$240million Terminal 2 upgrading project.
• 31 October: Official opening of Budget Terminal.
• CAAS embarks on a S$50 million project to resurface Changi Airport's two runways and major parts of the taxiways pavement.
• April: Terminal 3 receives its Temporary Occupancy Permit, signifying the completion of its construction phase.
• 8 May: New aviation security measures are implemented for flights, restricting the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) that passengers can carry onboard in their hand-carried luggage.
• 9 October: Changi Airport receives a special award from Business Traveller (UK) magazine, "Twenty Years at the Top, Best Airport in the World".
• 25 October: The world's first A380 passenger flight takes off from Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines flight SQ380 departs from Changi Terminal 2 for Sydney, Australia.
• 9 January: Terminal 3 commences scheduled flight operations.
• 14 February: CAAS awards a S$500 million tender to upgrade Terminal 1.
• 19 February: CAAS awards a S$S12 million tender for the installation of a new intelligent system to detect foreign objects on runways.
• 6 March: CAAS embarks on a S$10million expansion project at Singapore's Budget Terminal to increase the terminal's handling capacity from 2.7 million passengers per annum to 7 million.
• 28 August: The Butterfly Garden, a world's first in an airport, is opened in Terminal 3's Departure/Transit Mall. The 330 m2, two-storey open-air garden, designed as a tropical nature retreat, is home to more than 1,000 free roaming butterflies.
• 12 December: CAAS provides a S$130 million relief package to aviation players hit by the global economic downturn
• 11 February: CAAS announces a solar photovoltaic test-bed project, to convert electricity from direct sunlight, at the Budget Terminal.
• 12 February: CAAS increases relief package for aviation partners to S$200 million for 2009.
• 1 July: Changi Airport is corporatised, with the Changi Airport Group (CAG) formed to undertake key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services.
• 5 September: The Changi Airport Race – the first-ever jetliner versus car race in Asia – takes place on Runway 1 and a parallel taxiway. The car wins by a split second.
• 17 November: CAG calls for expressions of interest in a third ground handling licence at Changi.
• 25 November: CAG announces the Changi Airport Growth Initiative, a programme (to be launched on 1 January 2010) that offers customised incentives to airlines and other airport partners to boost passenger and cargo traffic at Changi, and to strengthen Changi's air traffic network.
• 7 December: A new Taxi Management System is implemented at Changi to better match taxi supply with passenger demand across the four terminals.
• 19 December: A daily record is set at Changi Airport, with 140,000 passenger movements registered on this day, the Saturday before Christmas Day.
• December: Changi Airport ends 2009 with a monthly record of 3.83 million passenger movements.
• 28 January: CAG and Jetstar Group sign agreement that will see Jetstar continue to make Changi Airport its largest air hub in Asia for both short haul and long haul operations.
• 2 February: CAG and IATA highlight aviation's commitment to the environment with the launch of a joint environment exhibition which focussed on IATA's four-pillar strategy on the environment and CAG's green efforts.
• 11 February: A new Changi Aviation Gallery opens in Terminal 2, providing interesting insights on Changi's ground operations and eventful history of aviation in Singapore.
• 25 February: CAG launches Changi Rewards, a programme to reward shoppers and diners at Changi Airport.
• 1 March: CAG, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CAI, acquires a 5% stake in Gemina S.p.A, the holding company of Aeroporti di Roma. This acquisition is Changi's largest investment to date.
• 8 April: New premium check-in lounge at Terminal 2 opens.
• 26 April: CAG grants full apron handling licence to SATS, effective 1 May 2010.
• 27 May: Changi Airport introduces The Slide@T3 – the tallest slide in Singapore and in an airport around the world.
• 1 June: CAG kicks off the Be A Changi Millionaire promotion, with possibly the largest cash prize ever to be given away in a retail draw in Singapore or by an airport anywhere in the world.
• 3 August: Changi welcomes athletes, officials, media and guests attending the first ever Youth Olympic Games.
• 6 August: CAG launches its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, working with Children-At-Risk-Empowerment (CARE) Singapore to reach out to youths at risk of academic failure, behavioural problems or delinquency.
• 17 September: CAI announces the award of the Design and Built Contract for Durgapur Airport by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL), to Simplex Infrastructures Limited, an Indian infrastructure construction company. The aerotropolis project is CAI’s first investment in an Indian greenfield airport city project.
• 28 September: CAG launches a slew of customer service initiatives under the Customer-Centric Initiatives (CCI) programme. Passengers can look forward to a more enriching travel experience that is personalised, stress-free and positively surprising.
• 8 October: CAI commences consultancy work with the Brunei Economic Development Board for the upgrading and development of Brunei International Airport.
• 2 November: CAG, CAAS and Schipol Nederland B.V of the Netherlands sign MOU to enhance collaboration on the use and further development of paperless freight documentation for the transport of air cargo between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Changi Airport.
• 3 November: CAG announces changes to the aeronautical fees at Changi Airport which take effect on 1 April 2011.
• 4 November: CAG and Henan Civil Aviation Development and Construction Committee sign MOU to develop air connectivity between Singapore and Henan’s cities, primarily the capital of Zhengzhou. Besides establishing direct flight, both parties will work together to support airlines and promote the air routes when these are established.
• 8 November: CAG and Munich Airport seal cooperation pact to enhance contacts between the two airports.
• 8 November: In its efforts towards a greener Changi Airport, CAG establishes a set of targets to cut energy use and to increase the proportion of recycled water use at Changi. The symbolic Changi Tree, Hopea Sangal, which used to be a landmark of what is now known as the Changi area, sets its roots at Changi Airport in a tree planting event.
• 28 November: Changi Airport was conferred the inaugural Singapore Service Excellence Medallion by the Institute of Service Excellence of Singapore Management University. This award recognises the achievements of organisations and individuals in inspiring and sustaining a culture of service excellence.
• 1 March: CAG announces that Budget Terminal will be closed to make way for the construction of Terminal 4.
• 25 September: The Budget Terminal was closed to make way for the construction of Terminal 4 to cater to the continued growth of air traffic at Changi Airport and further strengthen Singapore’s air hub status.