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Singapore Changi Airport: Managing disruption with digital

Transforming the passenger experience.

5-minute read

Call for change

Singapore’s Changi Airport, widely recognized by travelers as the world’s best airport for many years, is committed to continually raising the bar in customer engagement. This was a significant driver for a digital factory that uses the newest technology to re-invent the airport’s passenger experience and its operations. Known as DIVA (digital, innovation, ventures and analytics), the factory is designed to help Changi Airport Group experiment, to develop and launch new digital products and services—from conceptualization to delivery.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the travel and aviation industry worldwide was brought to a standstill and within weeks almost 98% of Changi’s footfall disappeared. The management needed support that was prompt and innovative to be able to quickly mobilize operational teams to build new digital products starting with improving safety for passengers and employees.

When tech meets human ingenuity

Located at the airport and staffed with professionals from both Changi Airport and Accenture, DIVA leverages the latest innovative technologies and capabilities—including edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), software development, digital marketing, and the internet of things (IoT).

Managed like a factory, DIVA focuses on delivering business outcomes at scale, with lines of production, predictable delivery schedules and quality control. This model, built around established communities of practice, enables new ways of working—with design thinking, agile methodologies, rapid prototyping and experimentation at the core. Requirements included being 100% on the cloud, a decoupled architecture built on APIs and microservices and secure data.

DIVA works closely with all business units across Changi to host multi-disciplinary teams. These teams encompass niche skills and new roles such as product owner, agile coach, cloud architect, IOT architect, UX/UI designers, software engineers and data scientists.

As consumer trends and expectations evolve, we need to leverage new technologies to deliver seamless experiences before, during and after travel.

JEFFREY LOKE / Senior Vice President, Singapore Changi Airport

Pandemic disruption

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the travel & aviation industry, DIVA’s capabilities came to the forefront enabling the speed & scale that was critical.

Safe Travel Concierge

The first priority was safety, so using its AWS cloud platform and AWS landing zones to orchestrate a stable and secure environment, Changi and Accenture created a series of capabilities including the Safe Travel Concierge app that was created end-to-end in just four weeks. It’s a one-stop portal for passengers that provides a convenient checklist of all entry requirements into the country. The app enables smoother travel for passengers, including booking on-arrival COVID-19 tests and accessing digital immigration forms.


Another app was ChangiQ, a queue management digital platform enabling passengers to schedule their check-in and security screening times, drastically reducing queue wait times.


And Where2Clean, a sophisticated internal app that uses IoT and real-time architectures to intelligently map out to the cleaning team which areas of the airport to prioritize for cleaning based on real-time flight data and passenger traffic.


The newest digital products include PlayPass, that enables Changi customers to schedule fun events and activities through one single mobile platform, improving the customer experience and reducing wait times at the airport.


And CarPass, a members-exclusive parking rewards program that provides customers with a seamless digital redemption experience for parking promotions at Changi and Jewel.

A valuable difference

Before, during and after travel

Changi Airport’s innovations in the pursuit of safe travel were recognized in IDC’s 2021 Future Enterprise Awards where Reviving Safe Travel, by DIVA was named as winner - Special Award for Digital Resiliency.

Changi Airport is committed to continually raising the bar for its performance and delivering a real-time customer experience. As the world transitions from a pandemic to an endemic situation, the airport is becoming even more agile and continue to generate new value. With fresh experiences that delight and engage the customer and improve service levels, Changi is driving up retail traffic, loyalty and revenue per customer.

Most importantly, with DIVA, Changi now has the technology, skills and new capabilities in place to power many new applications and continually reinvent the way it engages with customers in real time. This is helping Changi be more responsive to market changes and maintain the mantle of “World’s Best Airport.”

It quickly became apparent that we are operating in a new normal, and we needed to be creative and innovative to meet the rapidly changing needs at Changi Airport.

EWEN PLOUGASTEL / Managing Director, Client Account Lead