Military Wiki
Changi Air Base (CAB)
Pangkalan Udara Changi
சாங்கி வான்படைத் தளம்
Changi Air Base Crest Badge
Changi Air Base Crest Badge
Airport type Military airbase
Owner Ministry of Defence (Singapore)
Operator Republic of Singapore Air Force
Location Changi, Singapore
Elevation AMSL 7 m / 22 ft
Coordinates 01°22′34.53″N 103°58′59.46″E / 1.3762583°N 103.9831833°E / 1.3762583; 103.9831833
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02L/20R 4,000 13,123 Concrete
02C/20C 4,000 13,123 Concrete

Changi Air Base (ICAO: WSSS) or Changi Air Base (West) (Changi West Complex), formerly the RAF Changi, is a 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 bases houses the 121 Squadron, 112 Squadron, 145 Squadron, the Field Defence Squadron, the Air Logistics Squadron and the Airfield Maintenance Squadron. The air base crest carries the motto: "Together in Excellence".


RAF Changi

File:RAF Changi Crest.jpg

RAF Changi crest badge

External images
1966 aerial view of RAF Changi

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 air base was initiated by the occupying Imperial Japanese forces using those same Allied POWs as forced labours, building two unpaved landing strips between 1943 to 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 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 base 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 base.

The novel 'The Sound of Pirates' by former RAF airman Terence Brand is based in the 1960s both on the base 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)

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)


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. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 

External links

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