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The Paya Lebar Airport was developed between 1952 and 1955. It was regarded as a symbol of the then-colony’s post-war rapid development and modernisation.
The airport has seen several subsequent expansions, such as the addition of the passenger terminal in 1964, the construction of a new arrival terminal in 1977 and the conversion of the original passenger terminal into a departure terminal the same year.
The airport's expansions and renovations reflected the exponential growth in air travel in the 1950s and 1960s. Many visitors had fond memories of the arrival hall built in the Modern style, with high ceilings and thick pillars clad in black marble and gold mosaic.
The rooftop viewing gallery was also popular with visitors, and the passenger terminal building featured three specially designed murals. Two of the murals were created by William P. Mundy and one by Shamsuddin H. Akib.
The airport eventually ceased operations as a civilian airport in 1981 with the opening of Changi International Airport. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) took over the terminals and other buildings, and integrated them into the military base.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of July 2016 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.