CAAS gets US nod to certify plane repair firms

CAAS gets US nod to certify plane repair firms
The deal was signed on the sidelines of the airshow, attended by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (fourth from left) - seen here at the Boeing booth yesterday.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore has become the first Asian country to sign a deal with the United States allowing the civil aviation authority here to act on behalf of its US counterpart in the area of aircraft maintenance and repair.

Previously, Singapore-based aerospace firms had to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before they could work on American-registered aircraft.

That role can now be played by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

The move will cut regulatory burdens and compliance costs for the aviation industry, both sides said yesterday. It will also eliminate duplication of inspections and audits on aircraft maintenance organisations in Singapore and the US.

FAA administrator Michael Huerta said yesterday: "Repair stations that work on American planes must meet our regulations and, ordinarily, I would need to send a planeload of inspectors out here."

CAAS director-general Kevin Shum said the agreement "reflects the strength of our bilateral relationship" which dates back two decades. Both authorities have a similar arrangement for the design and manufacturing of civil aeronautical products.

Mr Shum said: "We share a common goal in finding solutions to tackle complex challenges in the aviation landscape, in areas such as aviation safety and security, air traffic management, environmental issues related to aviation and human capital development."

Mr Huerta said another area being looked at is whether there is scope for more collaboration and co-operation in passenger screening to reduce the hassle for travellers between Singapore and the US.

For example, Singapore will be the sixth country in the world to be entered into the US global entry scheme. This will allow citizens arriving at selected airports in the US, including Los Angeles, to use automated kiosks for exit clearance instead of having to wait in long lines.

It took about two years for Singapore and the US to negotiate the agreement, which was signed more than a year ago.

The implementation date has not been finalised.

This article was first published on February 17, 2016.
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