MM Lee speaks of need to restructure airport operations
Lee Kuan Yew on Changi, complete with obligatory dig at foreign experts. CNA:
Speaking at the launch of the newly restructured Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group on Wednesday, Mr Lee – who was instrumental in developing Changi as an aviation hub – noted that the economic crisis has seriously dampened air travel. ..
The minister mentor also stressed that one of the best investments that Singapore made in 1975 was to write off the S$800 million that was spent on Paya Lebar Airport – which was later handed over to the Air Force – and to build Changi Airport with two runways for S$1.5 billion.
At that time, he said, it was big money. If Singapore had followed foreign experts’ recommendation and had built the second runway at Paya Lebar Airport, the country’s airport would not have become a global aviation hub.
MM Lee said Changi Airport has set the benchmark for service excellence and operational efficiency internationally. It has won over 300 awards since 1987, including 13 awards in the first half of this year.
“The corporatised Changi Airport Group must have the drive and initiative to capitalise on the new opportunities and meet the increasing competition. As a corporation, it is better able to aggressively pursue overseas business ventures and investment opportunities,” Mr Lee said.
“It has the advantage of Changi as a brand name to enlarge its international presence. This will give greater flexibility to respond quickly to changes in the industry and in the global business environment. It will also attract and retain top talent to compete with global airport operators.”
Changi Airport Group is fully owned by Temasek, another arm of the government.
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Tags: aviation, changi, changi airport group, lee kuan yew, temasek