Construction of Terminal 5 at Changi Airport will be done via the most optimal way of funding, said Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah in Parliament today amidst reports that Singapore may charge travellers to help fund the construction of the new terminal.
The Minster was responding to a supplementary question from Pritam Singh, an MP from the Worker’s Party. The latter had asked for the Government’s response to a comment from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose CEO Alexandre de Juniac said yesterday that the trade body is “strongly against pre-financing of any infrastructure” when asked about media reports that suggested Singapore may charge travellers to help fund for the construction of the new terminal.
A recent report published in Straits Times said that passengers flying out of Changi Airport may have to pay an additional SGD10 to SGD15 as part of a new tax being considered to help pay for the airport expansion, including the building of T5.
The report also added that charges for airlines, including parking and landing fees, are also expected to rise by about 30 percent.
Responding to the question, Indranee answered that the Government is still in the process of seeking the most optimal way to do the funding.
“We don't rule out different ways of doing the funding but we are not committed to a single model. In short, we will try and find the most optimal way to do the funding and spread it out over the proper period of time,” said Indranee.
Regarding the funding of public infrastructure projects, the Minister said, “Comprehensive measures have been put in place to ensure cost-efficiency, with the Government placing greater scrutiny on projects that are of higher value or risk.”
Infrastructure projects in Singapore are subjected to strict scrutiny adhering to the laid-out norms. Projects that exceed SGD100 million are subject to scrutiny by the ministry overseeing the project, as well as the Ministry of Finance (MOF) before they are allowed to proceed.
In 2011, the Centre for Public Project Management (CP2M), comprising a multi-disciplinary team of architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, was set up to help the MOF perform this role. After the project passes the review by MOF, approval must be obtained from the Development Planning Committee (DPC), which is made up of three Cabinet Ministers.
For projects that are estimated to cost above SGD500 million, such as Changi’s Terminal 5, they will be put through a “rigorous” gateway process. This involves several stages of reviews by senior public officers, academics and industry practitioners who form the Development Projects Advisory Panel (DPAP) before being submitted to the DPC for approval.