The year 2021 started on a hopeful note with the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines and the possibility of the reopening of travel. As the year progressed, the virus threw out some curve balls to the world, including mutations leading to various restrictions worldwide.
Through it all, from battling new challenges brought by the long-drawn pandemic to adapting to new travel arrangements, the north star for Changi continues to be delivering the best Changi experience to every passenger while ensuring the health safety of staff and travellers. Changi Journeys looks back on the key milestones in Changi Airport in 2021.
Prioritising health safety in face of new variant threats
As the world faced the threat of a more virulent strain of Covid-19, for the first time in Changi’s history, the airport was closed to the public in May 2021 to curb the spread of the Covid-19 cluster. Swift measures and an entirely new operation concept were introduced to strengthen the airport’s defenses and safeguard the safety of airport staff and passengers.
On top of Changi’s enhanced cleaning regime and contactless passenger journey, the airport was segregated into zones to prevent cross-infection between airport staff and passengers flying in from higher-risk countries and regions. Changi developed the Blue Pass, its own gadget to facilitate contact tracing of staff working in the higher-risk zones when needed. Working with Changi General Hospital, some 18,000 airport staff were trained on how to wear their PPE for protection and those working in higher-risk roles were routinely tested for early detection of possible Covid-19 infection.
As a result of these health measures, Changi was recognised under the Airports Council International’s Airport Health Accreditation Programme for its exemplary health safety standards.
Innovating for a smoother travel experience
Despite the limitations of safe distancing and physical barriers, Changi continued to innovate and ensure passengers still get a smooth travel experience. New solutions such as the Safe Travel Concierge were developed to minimise the hassle and stress from travelling during the pandemic.