Where Your Career Takes Off

For many, the airport’s beauty lies in the way it epitomises different experiences of life, from separations and silent tears of longing to reunions and echoing peals of laughter. The airport is the home that greets you after a long, tiring trip and also the gateway that leads you to a world beyond familiar shores.

By Becky Lo

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Behind the Scenes

The CAAS was restructured in July 2009 with more focused roles to develop Singapore as a global air hub and aviation centre of excellence.

By Jannelle Lau

Aviation plays a key role in Singapore’s economic development. Singapore is renowned for the world’s most awarded airport, an enviable air-safety record, a respected centre for aviation training and a strong aviation industry. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has an integral part to play in all the above. The authority’s raison d’etre is to develop the air hub and aviation industry in Singapore, expanding Singapore’s links to the rest of the world.

To ensure that it is well placed to meet the challenges of tomorrow, CAAS takes a pro-active approach in ensuring that policies are aligned with international best practices, and that safe and efficient aircraft operations is a top priority. CAAS also aims to contribute actively to the development of international aviation and promote Singapore as a centre for aviation capabilities, knowledge and talent.

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Editor's Blog: Changi Airport to be corporatised next year

Changi Airport will be corporatised in July next year, which will see the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) becoming a regulatory authority. To be helmed by Lee Hsien Yang, former CEO of SingTel, the restructured CAAS will be in charge of air traffic services and licensing of pilots, aircraft and airlines.

A separate airport operations company will be set up by Temasek Holdings, which will oversee operational functions such as the managing of Changi Airport and investments in foreign airports.

According to the Transport Ministry, this separation of roles will allow Changi Airport to be more nimble in responding to competitive challenges in a rapidly changing aviation industry. The change will result in Singapore becoming the only country where customer service at an airport is regulated.

Changi Airport currently hires about 1,800 staff. A third of this number will go to the restructured CAAS, while the rest will go to the new company by Temasek Holdings. The Ministry has announced that the corporatisation exercise is not a cost-cutting or retrenchment exercise. Instead, more staff will be hired by the new entities and there will be greater flexibility in paying more for top talents.

It will be interesting to see how this development affects one of the best airports in the world. The co-existence of a regulatory authority and a corporate entity may lead to conflicts of interest in the early stages of implementation, but I think this bold move could bode well for Changi Airport in the long run.

New airports challenging Changi's supremacy have sprung up all over the world in recent years, which makes sense for the airport to make a move aimed at higher fiscal returns. Last but not least, it's heartening to know that the change will create more jobs for those who are gunning for the aviation industry.