A ROADMAP to chart the future of Singapore’s aviation sector was unveiled last month, outlining efforts to create better jobs, boost productivity and improve Changi Airport’s competitiveness.

 

Key objectives under the Air Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) include racking up real value-added growth of 16 per cent from 2015 to 2020, beef-ing up productivity by 3 to 4 per cent annually as well as creating over 8,000 new, good jobs in the sector by 2025.

 

“We want to transform the sector, not only to meet these challenges but to do even better,” said Mr Ng Chee Meng, Second Minister for Transport, at the Aviation Community Reception on April 20.

 

“We want to improve our sector’s competitiveness and Changi’s service standards, and grow our real value-add from about $7 billion today by another $1 billion by 2020.”

 

The ambitious plan also aims to redesign or create 8,000 jobs between now and 2025, translating to more openings for professionals, technicians and cabin crew.

 

And with Singapore facing land and labour constraints, a business- as-usual approach to transforming the sector isn’t feasible. Plans are also underway to make Changi Airport “smarter”, by leveraging innovative solutions and state-of-the-art technology to improve productivity.

 

For instance, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has issued a tender to pilot a Smart Tower for remote air traffic control operations, with a digitized real-time view of the aerodrome from digital camera systems. This would give air traffic controllers access to advanced surveillance and information tools.

Another major thrust of the Air Transport ITM is skills upgrading so that employees can acquire the skills needed to remain relevant as jobs and job scopes evolve.

 

For example, the professional conversion programme (PCP) will help mid-career entrants ease into the air transport sector. In partnership with Workforce Singapore, CAAS has introduced the PCP for ground operations officers. PCPs for other roles, such as station managers and airline officers, will be introduced progressively.

 

At the undergraduate level, CAAS is planning to tie up with a university to develop the curriculum for a degree in air transport to help meet the sector’s manpower needs.

 

The Air Transport ITM was developed by the Air Transport Industry Tripartite Committee (ITC), comprising representatives from organisations such as CAAS, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Changi Airport Group (CAG), Jetstar Asia and dnata. The ITC will also oversee the implementation of the roadmap.

 

Between the Government and Industry players such as CAG, SIA and Sats, some $500 million is, already being channelled towards rolling out a number of projects over the next three years.

 

The chief executive of CAG, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, highlighted that the airport operator is boosting efforts to drive productivity and innovation at the airport as the air hub grows.

 

“We will continue to leverage new technologies and work with partners to bring onboard solutions that will prepare Changi for future growth and transformation,” he said.

 

“The Air Transport ITM is a collective effort by sectoral tripartite partners to bring about better job opportunities for our workers and build a sustainable pipeline of workers to keep our air hub competitive,” said Mr Ong Hwee Liang, chairman of the NTUC aerospace and aviation cluster.

 

“It is imperative that the tripartite partners work closely to communicate these strategic plans to every worker, as well as help them upgrade and up skill to prepare for the new technologies and skill sets needed.”