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Singapore, Germany Partner on Sustainable Air Traffic Management

The Singapore Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) and DFS Aviation Services (DAS), the commercial subsidiary of German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, a state-owned company under private law, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase collaboration to improve air traffic management (ATM) performance as air travel between Singapore and Germany returns to pre-pandemic heights.

The MOU was signed recently by Ng Tee Chiou, Deputy Director-General of CAAS, and Andreas Pötzsch and Pierre Hermann, Managing Directors of DAS. The MOU renews the partnership that CAAS and DAS formed in 2018, which was broken by the COVID-19 outbreak.

CAAS Director-General Han Kok Juan noted that the new MOU between CAAS and DAS is noteworthy since it is a collaboration between two of the world’s premier air hubs. They will pool their resources to improve performance and serve as a guide for significant emerging concerns facing global aviation.

The MOU represents the two nations’ recognition that they are working towards the same objective – the global improvement of ATM safety standards and performance. This MOU signifies a partnership between the two countries, which could result in a multitude of new joint ATM initiatives that generate new synergies.

Singapore and Germany are both significant air hubs in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, respectively. There were 42 weekly flights between Singapore and Germany before COVID. These have since recovered to 37 weekly flights, or 88% of levels prior to COVID. Under the MOU, CAAS and DAS will collaborate in four areas, including Safety, Sustainability, Performance Benchmarking, and Training.

On safety, CAAS and DAS will work to enhance aviation safety, by strengthening the following:

  1. Safety data collection and analysis;
  2. Safety culture amongst air traffic control officers and system engineers; and
  3. Investigation processes into safety incidents.

The acquisition and analysis of safety data are crucial to the advancement of ATM because they provide valuable insights into the potential risks associated with aviation operations. Aviation is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and safety is a top priority for all parties involved. The acquisition and analysis of safety data are crucial for identifying potential hazards and evaluating the efficacy of risk mitigations.

The insights obtained from the collection and analysis of safety data can improve the aviation system’s overall safety in multiple ways. Additionally, it can help identify and prioritise areas for ATM system optimisation. Also, both parties will collaborate on developing ATM concepts, solutions, and technologies for the subsequent iteration of ATM systems.

Concerning sustainability, CAAS and DAS will discuss their respective sustainable ATM initiatives and exchange ideas. These include the development of the Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint by CAAS and research by DAS into climate-friendly flight management, such as contrail prevention. To reduce carbon emissions, both parties will also work towards initiating joint trials and demonstrations in long-range air traffic flow management.

CAAS and DAS will establish a set of common performance indicators for benchmarking and enhancing the performance of airports in Singapore and Germany. The agreed-upon set of shared performance metrics between Singapore and Germany, which may include increased fuel consumption, longer taxi-out times, and more time in terminal airspace, can serve as a model that airports throughout the world can follow.

In terms of training, the Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA), which is CAAS’s training arm, and DAS will swap training instructors and work together to come up with new training methodologies curricula and programmes to improve their respective human resources in preparation for future growth. Additionally, both parties will develop and market seminars and courses for the international market jointly.


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