Changi Airport
A general view of the check-in area of the departure hall during a media tour of Changi Airport Terminal 4 in Singapore July 25, 2017 Edgar Su/Reuters

Singapore's Changi Airport was able to handle 4.93 million passengers in February, despite its shorter days, indicating the city nation's emergence as a key Asian hub in the near future. The growth rate at 5.6 per cent rise year-on-year basis from 2017 and the tope two nations frequenting the airport remain China and India.

With a record 29,700 landings and take-offs, the airfreight remained stable at 1.4 per cent to reach 148,930 tonnes in February 2018 compared to February 2017, said the Changi Airport Group said on Tuesday, March 27.

One major reason attributed to the spike in traffic in February was the traffic and movement from the Chinese New Year break, with many travellers from nearby South-east Asian and North-east Asian nations visiting singapore during the period.

Currently, more than 100 airlines operate at Changi Airport, making Singapore an important hub to connect to 400 cities in 100 countries across the world. More than 7,200 scheduled flights per week were recorded during the period, almost one take off or landing every 80 seconds.

Apart from Singapore's Chagi Airport, Hong Kong has remained a key transit point connecting travelers in Asia and from the rest of the world. However, the Sydney-based CAPA Centre for Aviation estimate shows that these two airports will be hit once the estimated $1 billion investments pour in other Asian airports, making them internationally advanced and pose challenges to Changi and Hong Kong airports.

The Beijing airport with an estimated $12.9 billion spent on it is all set to open in 2019, taking the shine away from Changi airport as one of the world's biggest aviation hubs. Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport is being decked up with an estimated 117 billion baht ($3.5 billion) to be ready by 2021 with the inclusion of a 3rd runway.

Seoul's Incheon International Airport in South Korea has spent 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) on its second terminal to emerge as the world's leading mega-hub airport.

Undaunted, Singapore's Changi airport is planning to build a 4th terminal with a budget of S$1.3 billion ($950 million), while Hong Kong is planning to construct a third runway at a cost of HK$141.5 billion ($18 billion). About $255 billion is currently earmarked to build new airports worldwide, with another $845 billion for airport upgrades, said the CAPA report.

Torbjorn Karlsson, a partner in the civil aviation practice at Korn Ferry International in Singapore told Bloomberg last year that "the question is who are going to be the big winners."