Best way to fund Changi Airport's T5 still being explored: Minister

The Government is still looking for the most optimal way to pay for Changi Airport's Terminal 5 (T5), Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah said yesterday in Parliament.

She was responding to MP Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), who had asked for the Ministry of Finance (MOF)'s position on the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s stand that major airport expansion works should not be pre-funded through taxes on travellers.

The Straits Times reported last month that passengers flying out of Changi may have to pay an extra $10 to $15 in fees to fund T5 and other works in Changi East. Fees for airlines are expected to increase by about 30 per cent.

On Monday, IATA chief executive officer and director-general Alexandre de Juniac said at an event here: "... we are not in favour of pre-funding. We have a permanent dialogue with Singapore on this and we will keep reiterating and repeating this."

Yesterday, Ms Indranee told the House: "We do not rule out different ways of funding but we are sort of not committed to a single model.

"We will try and find the most optimal way to do the funding and spread it out over the proper period of time."

T5 will be part of a larger Changi East project, whose bill is expected to run into tens of billions of dollars.

Ms Indranee also shared how the Government manages and reviews large-scale infrastructure projects.

Projects that exceed $100 million will be scrutinised by the ministry in charge as well as MOF before they can proceed, she said.

A Development Planning Committee (DPC) comprising three Cabinet ministers must give the final approval.

Projects that cost more than $500 million are put through a "gateway process" and have to be reviewed by an advisory panel.

These large projects must also be approved by the DPC.