COVID-19: Taking care of grounded aircraft at Changi

 

As airlines reduced their flights due to tighter border controls across the world amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the aircraft from Singapore-based airlines are now parked in Changi Airport’ s airside. Although some of the aircraft have been shifted to overseas storage facilities, there are still around 200 planes parked in Changi. However, the issue is there are only about 180 aircraft parking spaces on the tarmac.

To accommodate the additional aircraft on ground and to support ongoing flight operations, our colleagues from the Airport Operations. Planning and Airside Division had to innovate and use Changi’s taxiways to park all these planes.

Working with airlines such as SIA Group and their aircraft maintenance company, all aircraft on the ground are categorised into two common groups. Planes categorised as ‘Active’ are those that continue to be used for flights, while planes categorised as ‘Parking’ are not flying during this period. This information is used to draw up the master parking plan, which allocates ‘Active’ planes to be parked at contact aircraft stands and remote aircraft stands for easier access. ‘Parking’ planes are assigned to taxiways and remote aircraft stands bays that are further away. 

Scoot planes parked on a taxiway near to Changi Airfreight Centre

 

This master parking plan needs to be reviewed daily, to optimise and adjust where aircraft are to be located in the airfield, as planes in the ‘Parking’ category still require periodic maintenance to preserve their airworthiness. When the time comes for ‘Parking’ planes to undergo maintenance, these aircraft are towed from taxiways to pre-identified maintenance aircraft stands, so that the works can be carried out safely and in a timely manner. 

 

Workers getting ready to tow a plane from the taxiway to a maintenance aircraft stand

 

While this may sound simple, the parking operations at Changi Airport is a massive coordination effort that involves many parties from gate planners, the airfield operations team and ground handlers, to airlines and their support teams. The towing operations, which occur daily, require the airfield operations team to coordinate ground support, supervise the towing of planes from taxiways to aircraft stands, as well as monitor safety procedures throughout the entire operation.  

 

Aircraft arrived safely at the maintenance aircraft stand

 

 

Other Articles

In Pictures: The beginning of a new partnership for Lotte and Changi

Changi Airport welcomed a new anchor tenant for its liquor and tobacco concession after 35 years. Find out what went on when Lotte Duty Free took over the stores. 

View Full Article

Meet the everyday heroes of Changi Airport

Even as global air traffic has reduced significantly, flights continue to operate at Changi Airport. A core group of airport staff continues to ensure that every passenger and aircraft is well taken care of at Changi, no matter the time of the day.

View Full Article

How air cargo is adapting to the new normal

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about global travel restrictions and lockdowns on an unprecedented scale. This has led to the suspension of passenger flights, resulting in an acute loss of bellyhold cargo capacity globally. 

View Full Article