SINGAPORE, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced initiatives to collaborate with aviation stakeholders on Wednesday to accelerate the industry's transformation in accordance with the Air Transport Industry Transformation Map.
The initiatives are aimed at driving innovation and improving productivity, expanding airport infrastructural capacity, and deepening skills of workers in the aviation sector, in order to enhance Singapore Aviation's competitiveness, according to a statement issued by the CAAS on Wednesday.
One of the initiatives is the third Aviation Challenges, which focuses on "Innovation for Seamless Ground Operations" and will allocate an increased funding of 9 million Singapore dollars (about 6.58 million U.S. dollars) to successful applicants who are invited to address Changi Airport's long-term challenges arising from strong air traffic growth.
The program is expected to provide greater flexibility and encourage stronger collaboration between end-users and technology providers.
Another initiative is related to enabling the innovative uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Singapore's urban environment. The Ministry of Transport and the CAAS will be awarding up to 6 million Singapore dollars to four consortiums who submitted proposals to CAAS' UAS Call-For Proposal (CFP) last November to develop and test UAS working prototypes.
Other initiatives include that the CAAS will be topping up the Aviation Development Fund (ADF) by 120 million Singapore dollars and bringing the total to 280 million Singapore dollars; and the CAAS tripartite partners have collaborated to develop the Skills Framework for Air Transport to furthur enhance the potential of workforce.
The CAAS also said the new Seletar Airport Passenger Terminal Building will open within this year and will transform operations at Seletar Airport.
The airport will increase its passenger-handling capacity to 700,000 a year, about four times the current handling capacity, and significantly improve the experience for passengers travelling through this airport. Once operational, the consolidated turboprop operations at Seletar will connect Singapore to more destinations.
Besides the Seletar Passenger Terminal Building, the CAAS said it would continue to make investments in developing the infrastructure at Changi Airport, and upgrade the Air Traffic Management infrastructure. These moves are part of a broader strategy to cement Singapore's position as a premier air hub.
Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said the Changi Airport is an important international air hub, and passenger movement it record for the first half of 2018 grew 5 percent year-on-year.