As Singapore commemorates its bicentennial this year, the National Day Parade (NDP) marching contingent from Changi Airport is set to wow the audience in more ways than one. On show will be the ONE Changi spirit, with the contingent made up of 45 staff from different airport partners’ representatives marching as one! Besides Changi Airport Group (CAG) staff, there will be partners from SATS, dnata, Certis Cisco, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore Customs, DFS and P-Serv. ONE Changi is the amalgamation of CAG and its more than 200 airport partners – a cohesive, 50,000-strong community.
The ONE Changi flag carried by the contingent was specially designed for this momentous occasion, beautifully illustrating the synergy and collaboration within the Changi Airport community, as everyone worked towards the common goal of delivering the ‘Changi Experience’ to more than 65 million passengers every year.
Changi Journeys (CJ) spoke to Jaeden Lim, Senior Manager, Airport Operations Management, the person who helped to organise the contingent, to find out more about how the team has been preparing for the parade.
CJ: Why is it significant that the airport partners are joining CAG in this year’s NDP march?
Jaeden: This year, the NDP theme is “Our Singapore”. As we celebrate the bicentennial, Singapore traces how the nation has progressed as One People. We felt that it was an opportune time for us to form a contingent made up of the various agencies and companies working at the airport. Each of these agencies play an important role in the smooth running of Changi, as we work across agencies as one airport community.
CJ: How did you manage to get people to participate?
Jaeden: We reached out through our ONE Changi leaders and enablers, to seek enthusiastic volunteers who were thrilled at the chance to take part in this meaningful event.
CJ: What is a rehearsal day typically like for the participants?
Jaeden: Rehearsals are organised on a Saturday, and there are 14 sessions altogether. Starting on 4 May, the first 6 sessions were held at Nee Soon camp from 11am – 5pm. The rest of the sessions are held at The Padang from 10am – 8pm. These rehearsals were held to teach the contingent how to march, as well as do so in sync.
CJ: What are some of the biggest challenges the team has faced so far?
Jaeden: The marching tempo is fast and the whole contingent had to hold flags, which was a new challenge to many in the contingent. A number also had no prior experience marching, especially those who have not been through National Service. Another challenge we faced was having to ensure that the staff were not rostered for shift duties on Saturdays so that operations back at Changi Airport remained smooth.