TRAVELLING abroad is one of the activities Ms Ong Chew Sze enjoys doing to relax and stay in the pink of health.

“Overseas holidays are win-win situations for me — I get to enjoy myself, recharge and gather a first-hand passenger experience of the airports that I pass through,” says Ms Ong.

A manager at the Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) Engineering & Development Group, she manages the planning, development, operations and maintenance of the airport’s facilities, systems, airfield and building infrastructure.

Childhood fascination

Since young, Ms Ong, 29, has harboured thoughts of joining the aviation industry.

“I have fond memories of our airport and was keen to know how it was managed and operated,” says Ms Ong, a graduate from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor in Engineering (Honours) in mechanical engineering.

As an employee of CAG for close to six years, she says her job gives her valuable exposure and professional experience, challenging her to strive to be better.

A memorable project

One memorable project that she took charge was the Terminal 1 upgrading works, where she got to oversee the installation and maintenance of the various building mechanical systems there.

“Given that Terminal 1 remained operational throughout the entire upgrading period over four years, we had to constantly strike a delicate balance between managing the project needs and minimising inconvenience to the airport users,” she says.

“All background system-related works were carefully planned, phased and coordinated to ensure that while the various project installations went on, existing systems continued to be well-maintained and interfacing works did not cause system disruptions that could affect airport operations,” she adds.

At the end of the day, perseverance and positive thinking helped her overcome her work challenges.

“The satisfaction is in seeing the realisation of the projects and knowing that your efforts play a part in helping Changi Airport to continue to operate at its best,” says Ms Ong, who loves the opportunities, challenges and airport staff privileges that her job entails.

Shaping an airport’s future

With the successful completion of Terminal 1’s upgrading, she has since moved on to a new work portfolio — planning for the future airport development works.

A host of exciting airport development projects have been lined up — the construction of Terminal 4 and the planning of various future airport developments.

“Associated with these airport development works is a myriad of career opportunities within CAG, depending on your interest and aspiration.

“If you are keen to take up a role to shape the airport’s future, this is a good time to join,” says Ms Ong.

To excel in her line of work, she cites useful qualities such as “being receptive, adaptable to changes in a dynamic environment, analytical and having work integrity, good project management skills and interpersonal skills, with a passion for the aviation industry”.

She considers continual improvement and personal upgrading as the key to keeping herself relevant.

“I’m certified as a Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute and am currently in the process of registering as a Singapore Certified Energy Manager (Professional),” she says.

Training and travel opportunities

There are also many on-the-job learning opportunities and company training programmes available, says Ms Ong, who also obtained a Graduate Diploma in Airport Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University.

In addition, there are various forms of overseas training and exposure.

“It really depends on your interest, relevance of job scope and the individual’s willingness to travel.

“I have been on overseas equipment technical testing trips and study or exchange visits to other European and Asian airports, which were great learning experiences that broadened my horizon and thinking,” she says.

“Changi Airport is a vibrant, unique and pleasant working environment on its own.

“We are like one big family, and cross-divisional collaboration and teamwork are common.

“The company culture is open and collaborative, and if you have a good idea to share, there are avenues and opportunities for you to surface your initiatives.

“There is a strong culture of striving for excellence in what we do, and we are always on the lookout for innovative ways to enhance the Changi Experience further for the passengers and airport users.”