Singapore commits more resources to global aviation training and research

SINGAPORE - Singapore, which contributes significantly to global aviation training and research, has deepened its commitment in both areas with new initiatives.

In a tie-up with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Singapore has agreed to jointly develop and conduct a course on aviation security, targeted at civil aviation heads.

Seven runs of the programme will be conducted at locations worldwide from 2018 to 2020.

The programme will equip aviation leaders with the latest developments on the international civil aviation security framework and its underlying principles, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Wednesday (July 12).

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng and Mr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the council of ICAO, at the opening of the World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum (WCACEF) held at the Singapore Aviation Academy.

The CAAS also inked a separate MOU with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) for research collaboration.

The partnership will focus on aviation and air traffic management topics, such as international aviation governance and aviation technologies.

Speaking at the event, both Mr Ng and Mr Aliu noted that the outlook for the aviation sector is bright.

In 2006, global passenger traffic hit 3.8 billion passengers, a 6 per cent increase over the previous year. The sector was responsible for generating 67.3 million jobs worldwide, while contributing US$2.7 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP), Mr Aliu said.

"These significant and very positive economic impacts are further supported by the fact that over half of the world's international tourists travelled by air last year," he said.

The sector has "great potential for growth", Mr Ng said.

Over the next 20 years, plane makers Airbus and Boeing forecast that air traffic is expected to grow at a rate of more than 4 per cent annually.

But with growth comes challenges that the industry has to collectively identify and address, in order to advance civil aviation and harness its growth potential for the benefit of economies and societies, Mr Ng stressed.

A stable regulatory environment is critical so airlines are assured that they can continue to operate in a business environment with balanced, predictable and rational policies and regulations, he said.

Security is also a major and growing threat, Mr Ng said, adding that the industry needs to increase capabilities to ensure safe and secure air travel.

Human capital development and knowledge sharing will be critical, which is why Singapore has decided to expand its training commitments, he added.

Another critical concern is aviation's cyber security vulnerabilities, Mr Aliu noted.

This was flagged at ICAO's 39th Assembly last October when world governments signalled their awareness and concern over these issues, he said.

"That event produced a declaration which is now helping to guide our joint efforts toward an effective and collaborative global cyber security response to protect our networks, our infrastructure and our customers," he said.