Changi Airport is paying tribute to long-serving airport organisations and staff as it celebrates its silver jubilee. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) organised a special gala dinner for about 1,000 guests at the Swissotel the Stamford to celebrate the occasion as well as to thank the airport community and staff who have served Changi Airport since 1981.
The dinner was graced by Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew this evening. Minister Mentor Lee played a key role in the birth of Changi Airport as he made the decision to relocate Singapore’s international airport from Paya Lebar to Changi in 1975.
There are 47 organisations comprising 20 airlines, seven air cargo agents, eight retail/food & beverage/service concessions, five government agencies, five private organisations and two ground handling companies, which have been with Changi Airport since 1 July 1981. In recognition of their contributions and support for Changi Airport, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Raymond Lim, presented the Changi Airport Silver Jubilee Awards to these 47 organisations during the dinner. Minister of State (Transport and Finance), Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, also presented awards to 25 individual airport staff who have been working with the same company for at least 25 years.
At the dinner, CAAS also launched a travelling exhibition called ‘The Changi Airport Story’ which traces the airport’s journey and achievements over the last 25 years. This exhibition will be displayed at Changi Airport until 31 July 2006 after which it will travel on to other locations in Singapore such as community libraries and tertiary institutions. In addition, CAAS today also organised other activities at the airport to make Changi’s 25th birthday a memorable and enjoyable experience for passengers and Singaporeans alike. Birthday presents were distributed at the airport’s public and transit areas while Singaporeans who turned 25 years of age today also dropped by the airport to collect a limited edition Changi Airport Sasha bear. Passengers born on 1 July similarly received special gifts.
Changi Airport started operations in 1981 with one passenger terminal building and 34 airlines connecting to 67 cities in 43 countries through about 1,200 weekly scheduled flights. Changi has since grown to be a leading air hub in the region and today serves 82 airlines connecting more than 180 cities in 57 countries through more than 4,100 weekly scheduled flights. Passenger traffic handled by Changi has grown four-fold from 8.1 million passengers in 1981 to a record 32.4 million passengers in 2005, while cargo throughput has increased more than nine times from 193,000 tonnes to 1.83 million tonnes. Over the years, Changi Airport has also been consistently voted as the world’s best airport and has bagged some 250 awards and accolades to date.