Changi Air Base

Changi Air Base (ICAO: WSSS) or Changi Air Base (West) (Changi West Complex), formerly RAF Changi, is an airfield military airbase of the Republic of Singapore Air Force located at Changi, in the eastern tip of Singapore. Sited at two locations to the east and west of Singapore Changi Airport, it co-shares runway facilities with the civilian airport and currently occupies a third runway slated for future expansion for civilian use by Singapore Changi Airport. Together, the two airfields house 121 Squadron, 112 Squadron, No 145 Squadron, the Field Defence Squadron, the Air Logistics Squadron and the Airfield Maintenance Squadron. The air base badge carries the motto: "Together in Excellence".

Changi Air Base (CAB)

Pangkalan Udara Changi

(Zhāngyí Kōngjūn Jīdì)

சாங்கி வான்படைத் தளம்
(Cāṅki Vāṉpaṭait Taḷam)
RSAF CAB (West) shoulder patch
Changi Air Base Badge
Airport typeMilitary airbase
OwnerMinistry of Defence (Singapore)
OperatorRepublic of Singapore Air Force
LocationChangi, Singapore
Elevation AMSL7 m / 22 ft
Coordinates01°22′34.53″N 103°58′59.46″E / 1.3762583°N 103.9831833°E
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02L/20R 4,000 13,123 Concrete
02C/20C 4,000 13,123 Concrete


RAF Changi

RAF Changi Crest
RAF Changi badge
External image
1966 aerial view of RAF Station Changi
Satellite image of RAF Changi, Singapore (Corona, KH-4, mission 9053) - 19630401
A satellite image of RAF Changi taken during the United States Department of Defense's Corona KH-4 reconnaissance satellite programme on 2 April 1963 (Singapore time)

First completed as a British artillery camp in 1940, it was used together with the nearby Changi Prison for housing many of the Allied prisoners-of-war (POWs) after the fall of Singapore in 1942. The construction of the airfield was initiated by the occupying Imperial Japanese forces using those same Allied POWs as forced labourers, building two unpaved landing strips between 1943 and 1944, intersecting in a cross layout and in approximately north-south and east-west directions. The airfield facility became a Royal Air Force station and was renamed RAF Changi in 1946 after the Japanese surrender. Imprisoned Japanese troops were then made to improve the runways, reinforcing the north-south runway for military aircraft and adding perforated steel plates to the east-west runway.

Completed post war, RAF Chia Keng — a GCHQ radio receiving station, was a satellite station of RAF Changi (being the Headquarters Air component part of British Far East Command) until the British Forces withdrawal from Singapore. Also, the nearby RAF Hospital Changi Old Changi Hospital (now defunct as Changi Hospital) functioned as the primary British military hospital providing medical care for all British, Australian and New Zealand servicemen stationed in the Eastern and Northern part of Singapore, while Alexandra Hospital was put in charge for those stationed in the Southern and Western part of Singapore.

Changi Air Base

Upon the withdrawal of British forces from Singapore, RAF Changi was renamed as Changi Air Base (CAB) and was handed over to the SADC (predecessor of Republic of Singapore Air Force) on 9 Dec 1971. Thereafter, the airfield received its first flying squadron of SADC - the Alouette Squadron and their Alouette IIIs helicopters shortly after New Year's Day 1972. With the arrival of the first Shorts Skyvans in 1973, SADC began to form the 121 Squadron at Changi Air Base and it is currently the oldest resident squadron of the airfield.

The novel 'The Sound of Pirates' by former RAF airman Terence Brand is based in the 1960s both on the airfield and in the surrounding areas.

Singapore Changi Airport

In June 1975, the Singapore government acquired about two-thirds of the airbase (saved for the main flight-line, hangar/aircraft maintenance facilities and control tower which were located in the western section of the airbase) for the construction of the new Singapore Changi Airport, with the new runways in close alignment with the original north-south runway. The east-west runway was almost erased from the map, currently surviving as a taxiway to the apron area which has remained operational as part of Changi Air Base.[1]

Changi Air Base (West)

Changi Air Base West entrance
Entrance of Changi Air Base (West)/HQ Changi Air Base.

Following the opening of the new Changi Air Base (East) (Changi East Complex) on 29 November 2004, the existing facilities at Changi Air Base has been renamed as Changi Air Base (West) (Changi West Complex) and Headquarters Changi Air Base (HQ CAB).[2]

The flying squadrons now are:

The Support Squadrons are:

  • Field Defence Squadron (FDS)
  • Airfield Maintenance Squadron (AMS)
  • Airfield Operations Maintenance Squadron Fixed Wing 2 (AOMS-FW2)
  • Ground Logistics Liaison Office / Ground Logistics Squadron (GLLO/GLS)
  • Air Movement Centre (AMC)

Changi Air Base (East)

The base was opened on 29 November 2004.

The base is closed for runway reconstruction as of July 2018.

The flying squadrons previously based there were:



badge of HQ RAF Far East Air Force (air component of British Far East Command), which was Headquartered at RAF Changi.

RAF 5353 Airfield Construction Wing and Japanese POWs improving runway of RAF Changi in 1946

Men of No 5353 Airfield Construction Wing, Royal Air Force (RAF), assist and supervise Japanese prisoners of war during the construction of the main runway at Changi.

Japanese POWs improving runway of RAF Changi in 1946

Japanese prisoners of war laying some of the 11,900 rolls of bituminised hessian sheeting that provided a waterproof bedding for the main runway at Changi.

Improved main runway of RAF Changi after completion in 1946

View of the main runway at RAF Changi, Singapore, soon after its completion. The runway constructed from 276,680 pierced steel sheets was 2,000 yards in length and 50 yards wide was able to take the largest aircraft then in service with the RAF.

121Sqn Fokker 50 MPA

121Sqn's Fokker 50 MPA.


112Sqn's KC-135R.

See also


  1. ^ Probert, Henry (2006). The History of Changi. Changi University Press ( ISBN 981-05-5580-6.
  2. ^ "DSTA harnesses technology for new airbase extension". Lianhe Zaobao (reproduced by DSTA with permission). 2002-07-16. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2008-09-25.

External links

120 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force

The 120 Squadron "Kestrel" (also known as the "Red Hawks") is a helicopter squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force based at Sembawang Air Base. First formed in 1969, it is the first and oldest RSAF operational squadron in service. The squadron goes by the motto of "Strive To Achieve". Since 2006, it operates the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter and has participated in Singapore's National Day Parade together with 127 Squadron CH-47SD Chinook for the traditional National Flag Fly Pass.

121 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force

The 121 Squadron "Brahminy Kite" ("Gannet" before 1994) of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) currently operates the Fokker 50 Utility Aircraft (UTA) and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) based at Changi Airbase (West). The squadron goes by the motto of "Seek and Destroy" and the mascot is the brahminy kite.

145 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force

The 145 Squadron "Hornet" is a strike fighter squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force based currently at Changi Airbase (East) which is a new airbase, opened in 2004, to the east of Singapore Changi Airport on reclaimed land. With the hornet as its mascot, the squadron's motto is "Swift & Valiant".


Changi is a planning area located in the East Region of Singapore. Sharing borders with Pasir Ris and Tampines to the west, Changi Bay to the southeast, the South China Sea to the east and the Serangoon Harbour to the north. Changi, excluding the two water catchments and islands of Singapore, is the largest planning area by land size.

Today, Changi is an aviation hub. It is the current location of both the Changi Airport and Changi Air Base.

Also located within Changi is Singapore's largest prison, Changi Prison. It became infamous as a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the occupation of Singapore in World War II. Changi Prison continues to be Singapore's oldest operating internment facility, in the form of the new Changi Prison Complex.

Changi (disambiguation)

Changi is the area in eastern Singapore.

Changi may also refer to:

Changi (traditional Georgian musical instrument)

Changi (TV series)

Changi, Iran, a village in Tehran Province

Changi Air Base

Changi Airport in Singapore

Changi Airport MRT Station

Changi Airport Skytrain

Changi Business Park

Changi Depot

Changi Exhibition Centre

Changi General Hospital

Changi Naval Base

Changi Prison

Changi Village

Changi Air Base (East)

Changi Air Base (East), or Changi East Complex is a facility extending the facilities of Changi Air Base, the existing facilities hence renamed Changi Air Base (West). Built on a 2 square kilometre site of reclaimed land, the new base was located approximately 2 kilometres east of Singapore Changi Airport and approximately 1.5 kilometres west of Changi Naval Base. Ground breaking took place on 15 July 2002 and it was officially opened on 29 November 2004. The runway (02R/20L) length was approximately 2,748 metres (9,015 ft).

Changi Air Base (West)

The Changi Air Base (West), or Changi West Complex is a military airbase located in Changi to the eastern tip of Singapore, in reference to the existing facilities of Changi Air Base. It was named as such on 29 November 2004 after the opening of a new eastern facility that same day. Sited immediately to the west of Singapore Changi Airport, it consists only of an apron, sharing the civilian airport's runway for military aircraft based there. The air base houses 121 and 112 Squadrons, which operate Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft armed with Harpoon missiles, KC-135R jet tankers, and special transport aircraft.

Changi Exhibition Centre

The Changi Exhibition Centre (CEC) (Chinese: 樟宜会展中心) is a convention center in Singapore located on a plot of land just beyond the northern edge perimeter fencing of the new Changi Air Base (East). It is the home of the Singapore Airshow, which has been held at the venue since 2008. Changi Exhibition Centre is owned and managed by Experia Events Pte Ltd.

Changi Naval Base

Changi Naval Base (CNB) officially known as RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base is the latest naval facility of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and was built to replace Brani Naval Base. Located about 1.5 kilometres east of Changi Air Base (East) and 3.5 kilometres east of Singapore Changi Airport, the base was built on 1.28 km² (0.50 sq mi) of reclaimed land. It was officially opened on 21 May 2004 by Goh Chok Tong, the second prime minister of Singapore.

Civil enclave

A civil enclave is an area allotted at an airport belonging to the armed forces, for the usage of civil aircraft and civil aviation related services.

Civil enclaves are common in countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan where a part of an airbase, almost invariably a legacy of World War II vintage, is allotted for domestic air traffic instead of building a new civilian airport. These airports usually have a curfew (mostly after sunset) during which civil aircraft are not permitted to operate. Many reserve morning hours for military flight training. Some civil enclaves adopt an altitude restriction, i.e. one below which a civilian aircraft cannot descend while over-flying the enclave. The curfew system may result in airport congestion while the altitude restriction can cause long detours and greater fuel consumption.

Air traffic control at civil enclaves is usually entrusted to the armed forces or it may be a joint civilian-military crew. In some countries security is the responsibility of military personnel; in others, civil security authorities such as the Transportation Security Administration in the United States retain responsibility for all civilian aviation security. It is generally accepted that the military receives revenues from civil use of ATC services if they own and operate them, but in some countries it is not clear as to whether capital expenditure for improvements such as runway expansion is the responsibility of the military or civilian authorities. One example in India is Goa's Goa International Airport at Dabolim.

Five Power Defence Arrangements

The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) are a series of defence relationships established by a series of multi-lateral agreements between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore (all Commonwealth members) signed in 1971, whereby the five powers are to consult each other "immediately" in the event or threat of an armed attack on any of these five countries for the purpose of deciding what measures should be taken jointly or separately in response. There is no specific commitment to intervene militarily. The Five Powers Defence Arrangements do not refer to exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and the enforcement of a state's EEZ rights is a matter for that state; a state may request the assistance of other states in so doing.

List of Republic of Singapore Air Force squadrons

This is a list of Republic of Singapore Air Force squadrons.

List of Singapore-related topics

This is a list of topics that are related to Singapore, which is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. Singapore lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. It consists of one large island and 60 significantly smaller islets. This list primarily includes Singapore-related topics that already have a Wikipedia article.

List of airports in Singapore

This is a list of airports in Singapore, grouped by type and sorted by location.

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. Singapore is a city-state.

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Ng Chee Meng

Ng Chee Meng (Chinese: 黄志明; pinyin: Huáng Zhì Míng; born 8 August 1968) is a Singaporean politician and the current Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress. He served as the 8th Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) from 2013 to 2015, and held the rank of Lieutenant-General. He was also the Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) from 2009 to 2013. He is currently a Member of Parliament for the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency following the 2015 Singapore general election. Ng was appointed as the Acting Minister of Schools and the Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Transport, by the Prime Minister on 1 October 2015. Ng was promoted to Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport on 1 November 2016.

Republic of Singapore Air Force

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