$150 million for aviation industry to boost productivity, cope with costs: Lui Tuck Yew

SINGAPORE - The aviation industry will get two help schemes worth $150 million in total to boost productivity and cope with costs, to help it stay competitive, announced Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew on Friday night.

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According to its press release on Friday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is rolling out more initiatives to bolster and grow the Singapore air hub amidst an increasingly competitive environment and limited manpower resources.

These initiatives would contribute to the robust and sustainable development of Singapore - Heart of Aviation as an aviation hub of choice.

Other key points from CAAS' statement:

- To drive transformative productivity improvements across various facets of Changi Airport's operations, CAAS is launching an Airport Productivity Package, with $100 million up to 31 March 2018. Two new programmes will be rolled out under this Package.

- Another S$6.3 million has been allocated for the second Aviation Challenge, which will be on automating the manpower-intensive process of consolidating cargo into larger pallets and containers for transport in aircraft and the reverse process of taking apart cargo from these pallets and containers at Changi Airport.

- The thrust of the other initiative is to help the airlines operating at Changi Airport to manage their costs in the current period of slowing traffic growth. CAAS will be absorbing S$50 million of the air navigation services charges charged to Changi Airport Group (CAG) over this and the next financial year (FY2014/15 and FY2015/16).

- CAG has committed to passing on the savings to the airlines operating at Changi Airport. This will translate to a 10 per cent rebate in landing charges for airlines at Changi from September1, 2014 to March 31,2016.

- A passionate, quality and well-trained workforce is a key factor in making Singapore an aviation hub of choice. CAAS signed an Aviation and Aerospace Manpower Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) strengthening the collaboration among the signatory agencies to enhance aviation manpower development efforts from attracting, developing to retaining human resource and talent, as well as to enhance aviation jobs and careers. Through this collaboration, a 'one-stop shop' will also be provided to aviation stakeholders for addressing manpower development challenges facing their organisation.