Singapore_HeroSlide STRIDING TOWARDS
A NEW ERA

Slide “TO THE YOUNG AND TO THE NOT SO OLD, I SAY,
LOOK AT THAT HORIZON, FOLLOW THAT RAINBOW,
GO RIDE IT”
~ Mr Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of Singapore The growth of aviation An example is the Distributed Multi-Nodal ATFM Network that promotes better capacity management across the board, which has expanded to include nine Asia-Pacific ANSPs. As of 2018, it has helped to save 3,400 minutes of airborne delay, equivalent to 167,000kg of fuel saved and a reduction of 527,000kg of carbon emissions. Changi Airport is also investing in infrastructural upgrades to enhance energy-efficiency and deployment of electric vehicles and solar panel systems to reduce carbon emissions, while also mitigating the risks of rising sea levels by building the new terminal 5.5 metres above the mean sea level with flood barriers and an upgraded drainage system. Augmenting capacity and operational efficiencies 2019 marks the 75th year since the founding of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the signing of the Chicago Convention in 1944.

Over these years, aviation has been an important socio-economic driver. Today, the sector supports some 65 million jobs and generates nearly USD 2.7 trillion in economic benefits globally. Air traffic has grown rapidly with airfares and freight charges falling, making air travel more accessible. The sector has been innovative, with aircraft design and engine technology enabling faster air travel, longer distances, with greater fuel efficiency. Aviation safety is at a record high with an all-time low accident rate. These positive developments in air transport have in turn promoted international connectivity, commerce, and cooperation.

Change and transformation are the future of aviation. International passenger traffic is projected to double to 7.8 billion passengers per annum by 2036. Policymakers, industry, and aviation workers will have to embrace technological advancements and innovations, such as artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, and quantum computing, as well as the integration and intelligent designing of processes and procedures.
As a small city state with limited natural resources, Singapore has grown and prospered by being innovative, nimble, and adaptable to changes. Openness to change is at the core of our DNA since the founding of modern Singapore two hundred years ago. It can never be merely business-as-usual.

Therefore, our civil aviation community is pursuing innovation and technology to augment our capacity, safety, and operational efficiency. Innovation is occurring within the context of the larger National Smart Nation initiative, which seeks to build a leading economy powered by digital innovation and a world-class city with high quality of life for our people and social cohesion.

Singapore is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the research and development of new innovation and technology to advance Air Traffic Management (ATM) for Singapore, the region, and the world. Some of the projects look into regional airspace capacity enhancement for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), regional Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) for the Asia Pacific, and ground-breaking work in Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management (UTM). Projects in the pipeline include open ATM systems, space-based Very High Frequency (VHF), and applying artificial intelligence for speech recognition and conflict resolution.
“A WELL-DESIGNED AVIATION ECOSYSTEM NEEDS TO BE FORWARD
LOOKING, NIMBLE AND CONSTANTLY IMPROVING; TRUST-WORTHY
AND INCLUSIVE TO ACCOMMODATE AN EVER-EXPANDING
NETWORK OF STAKEHOLDERS WITH COMPLEX DEMANDS;
CONNECTED AND INTEGRATED GLOBALLY.”
~ Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Safe, sustainable, and vibrant ecosystem One of the key projects in development is the smart digital control tower for assistive functionalities and features to enhance ATM and increase operational efficiencies for Changi Airport when traffic volume multiplies. The smart control tower effectively digitises the analogue airfield environment. It remotely recreates on screens the same panoramic view from a physical control tower, overcoming many physical limitations such as visual restrictions, blind spots, and capacity constraints. “Data tags” with key aircraft information including call sign, speed, altitude, and destination airport would provide valuable data points for analytics, improve performance, and enhance the Air Traffic Controller’s situational awareness.

Changi Airport is also pursuing improvements through technology and automation. Some of the initiatives being developed include the automation of baggage loading onto narrow body aircraft, automation of cargo and baggage sorting, and use of airside autonomous vehicles. Regulatory sandboxes are used for proof-of-concept trials conducted within controlled environments. Such trials include testing airside autonomous vehicles’ capabilities to navigate in the smaller operational environments of cargo and baggage sorting facilities before they are deployed to wider areas.
Regionally, Singapore has been a firm advocate of AP-SHARE that would improve aviation safety in the region through collaborative data collection, analysis, and information sharing.
We take a proactive, calibrated, and customised approach to promote beneficial applications of Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) whilst mitigating the risks to safety and security. Singapore facilitates the growth of the UAS industry through multiple initiatives. This includes the designation of a drone estate for the testing of drone operations, co-funding the development and implementation of prototypes for innovative UAS operations in our urban environment, and collaborative policy-making with the industry such as for Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight requirements. As a member of the ICAO Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel, Singapore contributes to formulating globally-recognised Standards and Recommended Practices for international operations of unmanned aircraft, in areas ranging from UA pilot licensing, airworthiness, aircraft operations to air traffic management.

The environmental sustainability of air travel is a priority for Singapore. Our approach is to forge collaborations with air operators and other Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSPs) to develop innovative initiatives to address aviation emissions.
Safety is of paramount importance to aviation. In Singapore, a robust safety management system ensures that complex air traffic and large numbers of aircraft are managed safely. The system has been built on a positive feedback loop with a strong safety culture, good safety data that allow for accurate assessments, and safety enhancement through mitigation measures. We are continuously improving safety management. Singapore was among the first few States to implement a State Safety Programme as a proactive approach towards safety management. Enhancing productivity and passenger experience Changi Airport is a centre-piece of Singapore’s vibrant aviation ecosystem. It is a leading air hub with unrivalled efficiency and a unique “Changi experience” for travellers. With an increasing number of passengers, Changi Airport has embraced creative solutions to continue facilitating global connectivity whilst delighting passengers. The Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) transformation has introduced self-service check-in counters and automated bag-drop machines on a large scale, along with facial recognition technology that would replace manual identity checks.
This means shorter queues for passengers, an improved passenger experience, and greater productivity. The newly opened Jewel Changi Airport is a hallmark of innovation which integrates nature and lifestyle with an airport. Passengers’ experience of dining in a terraced forest beside the world’s tallest indoor waterfall goes beyond that of a conventional airport.

Singapore Airlines has upheld the highest service excellence across the years by constantly innovating to remain at the forefront of the industry. Its new digital innovation lab, the KrisLab, was formally launched in early 2019 as a collaborative workspace for Singapore Airlines staff to co-innovate with external partners, start-ups, and incubators to adopt digitalisation and technology throughout its business operations. There is an ongoing study to use virtual reality technology to enhance the design process of future cabin concepts before implementation. Data analytics and artificial intelligence are also being explored for their possible applications to revenue management and predictive aircraft maintenance. These innovations allow Singapore Airlines to maintain its competitive advantage in providing the highest quality of passenger experience.
“OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO HELP PRESERVE THE LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF CIVIL AVIATION.” ~ Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of Transport, Singapore Our shared journey into the future It was a leap of faith that roused the Wright Brothers to take to the skies in 1903. It was a similar, unbridled spirit of enterprise that inspired the founding fathers of global aviation to sign the Chicago Convention in 1944, ushering an unprecedented era of safe, interconnected skies. The global aviation community can be proud to have, over the past 75 years, banded together to improve safety and security standards, respond to evolving threats and surging air traffic growth, and enhance the interoperability of systems. We are closer than ever before to realising a seamless and borderless airspace.

Building on the foundations of our global aviation system, with a healthy balance of openness and caution and the collective spirit of ICAO, we are confident that the aviation community will be able to come together as one. Leveraging on innovation, we can make this new era better and brighter for international civil aviation and future generations to come.
Cultivating capabilities and competencies The success of the adoption and implementation of innovative ideas depend on our aviation professionals and their mindset. The Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA) is continually reviewing its pedagogy to incorporate the latest innovations and cater to tech-savvy millennials in the workforce. The improved pedagogy involves the use of simulators, hands-on exercises, and people-centric participatory setups. This promotes free-flowing and multi-directional learning among a network of facilitators and learners in a conducive environment, formal or informal. It will be geared towards a practitioner-focused deep-learning approach where participants apply knowledge to manage real world situations and undertake projects requiring creative problem-solving.

The SAA will continue to support the development of competencies for the global aviation sector, especially those in developing countries. To date, the SAA has trained over 129,000 personnel from 200 States and territories, of whom over 8,000 were awarded fellowships provided by the Singapore government. The Singapore Government has also set aside 600 fellowships and 40 scholarships under the Programme for Young Aviation Professionals for those below the age of 35 to take up leadership courses at the SAA. Memorandums of Understanding have been concluded with various regions to provide onsite training courses and fellowships that would cater to their specific needs. The responses to these programmes have been overwhelming – an encouraging sign for the future prospects of aviation.
“HAVING AGREED ON CERTAIN PRINCIPLES AND ARRANGEMENTS IN
ORDER THAT INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION MAY BE DEVELOPED IN A
SAFE AND ORDERLY MANNER AND THAT INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT
SERVICES MAY BE ESTABLISHED ON THE BASIS OF EQUALITY OF
OPPORTUNITY AND OPERATED SOUNDLY AND ECONOMICALLY.”
~ Opening Preamble, Chicago Convention ©LIEW TONG LENG
Rainbow framing the welcome salute at Changi Airport
©LIEW TONG LENG
Gardens by the Bay – Singapore’s innovative spirit at work
©LIEW TONG LENG
Smart Tower Technology - building blocks for the future of ATM
©LIEW TONG LENG
Changi Control Tower - connecting Singapore and the world