Meet Alistair Tan, Functional General Manager Aviation SEA, an airport consultant growing the aviation sector during a pandemic
From Southeast Asia to the Middle East to Ethiopia to Brazil and back again, the footprints of Mr Alistair Tan’s career as an airport consultant are interwoven with the pulsating rise of the developing aviation sector in Asia, Africa and South America.
Since joining as Functional General Manager Aviation SEA with Surbana Jurong this year, Mr Tan has been faced with the challenging responsibility of steering Southeast Asia’s aviation sector to growth during this pandemic crisis. “The coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc and disrupted the aviation growth momentum to a standstill. This is an unprecedented health crisis impacting the aviation industry on all fronts, worse than the global financial crisis of 2007–2008.”
With more than 25 years’ experience in the industry including a significant amount of time spent in various senior roles with Changi Airports International Pte Ltd, Alistair also worked for 13 years as Air Maintenance Officer with Singapore’s Ministry of Defence responsible for the maintenance and development of its airbases’ infrastructure and facilities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Massey University in New Zealand.
Highlights of his varied career include managing partnership and bid submission for the Komodo Airport in Indonesia (2018/19). In 2018, he led the scope for capacity assessment of the new terminal at the Clark International Airport in the Philippines. In 2016, he helped plan and implement the operational readiness programme for the new pier extension and additional facilities of the existing terminal of the Tom Jobim International Airport, the gateway to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games of 2016, which opened to passengers more than one month ahead of Games. He also spent about three years in Brunei Darussalam for the modernisation of the Brunei International Airport from 2011 to 2014.
“Every airport-related project has its peculiar challenges and space for learning, whether big or small,” Mr Tan said of his role as an airport consultant. “I enjoy meeting professionals of the same industry, regardless of their roles. Every conversational opportunity brings along new insights and knowledge, and in most cases, friendship.”