Ground-handling firm dnata has opened a new $16.2 million repair and maintenance facility at Changi Airport for its vehicles and other equipment.
The 6,900 sq m centre, which started operations last month, can handle an average of more than 9,000 repairs and maintenance activities annually.
This is a huge improvement over the current facility, which was built more than 36 years ago. With new equipment and technology, as well as improved work processes, the new facility has triple the handling capacity of the existing one, although it is only 1,000 sq m bigger.
Dnata Singapore has a fleet of more than 1,500 motorised and non-motorised ground service equipment. Mr Mark Edwards, its chief executive officer, said at the official opening of the new centre: "In an effort to future-proof our business, it is crucial that our infrastructure and support services keep up with the growth of dnata Singapore's business."
Mr Edwards added that the centre, which took 19 months to build, incorporates a number of green elements. For example, there are energy-saving LED lights and motion sensors for lighting and ventilation.
And windows face southwards to avoid much of the afternoon sun and are shaded to reduce internal room temperature, in a bid to conserve electricity consumption.
Higher and wider vehicle bay entrances allow more light into the workshop, eliminating the need for 24/7 repair bay lighting.
Said Mr Edwards: "Being environmentally responsible is no longer a matter of choice, and it was a clear priority for us when establishing this base to look at building in... many energy-saving measures."
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who toured the facility yesterday, said: "While airlines and immigration counters provide direct contact with travellers, many more (airport partners) work behind the scenes to jointly deliver the Changi experience, such as food caterers, luggage handlers, cleaners and repair mechanics.
"There are many such unsung heroes and heroines whose services passengers often take for granted. Dnata is one such partner."
With increasing passenger traffic and cargo volumes, the airport and key partners like dnata are investing in infrastructure and technology to cope with the growth. In May, the airport handled five million passengers, 4.6 per cent more than a year ago, while cargo shipments saw a year-on-year increase of 12.6 per cent to hit 177,340 tonnes.