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THE legacy of Singapore's founding leader Lee Kuan Yew lives on in Changi Airport's worldwide reputation for excellence and reliability, said airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) in a tribute.
CAG said on its website: "Changi Airport Group remains committed to maintaining Changi Airport's reputation as one of the world's best. We continue to pursue Mr Lee's vision to drive innovation and pursue excellence both in Singapore and overseas."
Mr Lee personally shaped Singapore's aviation industry. Against the recommendations of foreign experts to expand the former airport at Paya Lebar, Mr Lee decided to shift Singapore's international airport to Changi.
The tough call meant writing off some S$800 million that had already been invested in Paya Lebar airport and a commitment of S$1.5 billion to develop the new airport in the late 1970s. But Mr Lee himself described it as "one of the best S$1.5 billion investments we ever made".
CAG said: "Mr Lee took a personal interest in the development of the new airport at Changi. He flew over the site to oversee construction, ensuring that Changi Airport was to become a shining beacon of the Singapore brand in the global economy."
Since then, the government has continued to develop Singapore as a global aviation hub, which has bolstered the economy and created hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Even after his retirement as prime minister, Mr Lee continued to take a keen interest in Changi Airport. He last visited it on Sept 5, 2014, when he was briefed on the upcoming Jewel development.
For full coverage, visit bt.sg/lky2015