Singapore proud to lend its expertise, PM Lee tells ICAO chief

PM Lee Hsien Loong met ICAO's president, Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, on April 11, 2019.
PM Lee Hsien Loong met ICAO's president, Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, on April 11, 2019.PHOTO: LEE HSIEN LOONG/FACEBOOK

As a member state of the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Singapore is proud to lend its expertise in many areas, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

This includes training, airspace management and security, PM Lee said in a Facebook post on Thursday after he met ICAO's president, Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.

"We discussed developments in global aviation, including how member states and the ICAO need to continue working closely to ensure continued safe and efficient growth of air traffic," PM Lee added. Noting that ICAO has made major contributions to the safety, security and sustainability of aviation around the world, he said Singapore will keep working with the organisation "to keep air travel turbulence-free".

Dr Aliu was in Singapore to attend the three-day World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum, which started on Monday. The event, which attracted about 120 leaders, policymakers and regulators from more than 80 countries, was organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

In a statement on Thursday, ICAO said the forum presented an opportunity for discussing emerging revolutionary innovations in the industry. Dr Aliu said this included the millions of smaller drones now being operated for a range of purposes, as well as many other aircraft types. It is ICAO's role to anticipate, enable and guide this evolution, he added.

Noting that exponential growth and rapid digitalisation are changing the face of aviation, Dr Aliu said the only viable solution will be "a transformative evolution in how we exchange information and manage our airspace in the 21st century air traffic management system".

He delineated how the digitisation to support this transformation "touches on many other activities" in air transport, stressing that a key challenge this evolution poses for ICAO is how to find "convergent... global aviation solutions which can practically apply to divergent local challenges and developments".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore proud to lend its expertise, PM Lee tells ICAO chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe