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Strengthening Aviation Education in Singapore

Image credit: sutd.edu.sg
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A new partnership between the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will provide SUTD students with internship opportunities in the aviation industry. To broaden and deepen their understanding of the aviation industry, CAAS will provide internship opportunities to SUTD students as part of a new three-year partnership.

The collaboration involves sharing information in the fields of air traffic control, cybersecurity for aviation operations, and cutting-edge unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology. The latter will make use of the SUTD Aerial Arena, a netted outdoor drone facility, for public education outreach programmes on the innovative and safe uses of UAS.

The most recent partnership follows a five-year agreement that will expire in March 2024. The Air Traffic Management project, which intends to produce quick simulation models to support air traffic choices within the terminal airspace, runways, and gates, is one of the projects that have resulted from that collaborative effort.

When it is eventually released, this technology will be able to assess the capacity of an airport swiftly and accurately like Changi under various weather scenarios and runway closures. As a result, traffic controllers will be better able to balance supply and demand at any given moment.

By utilising the technology-driven, design-thinking problem-solving that SUTD is recognised for, the new partnership aims to strengthen the collaborative efforts already underway between SUTD and CAAS.

According to SUTD President Professor Chong Tow Chong, this collaboration with CAAS strengthens SUTD’s aviation focus in education and research to better support the capability and capacity development of SUTD undergraduates, graduates, and alumni. They are excited to work on future joint initiatives and programmes to improve learning and human capital development to boost Singapore’s unmanned aircraft ecosystem.

Two standout technologies are cybersecurity and UAS. Safeguarding vital aviation systems from cyber threats is imperative, and UAS have gained prominence for diverse functions such as shipping and monitoring.

With aviation systems growing more dependent on digital infrastructure, the risk of cyber intrusions rises. Cybercriminals could potentially disturb or incapacitate crucial systems, resulting in accidents or worse. Hence, the presence of cybersecurity experts is crucial to shield aviation systems from such threats.

Similarly, UAS are progressively gaining popularity across various domains, encompassing tasks like delivering cargo, conducting surveillance, and engaging in search and rescue missions. However, UAS also introduce a plausible security concern.

It remains possible for cybercriminals to commandeer a UAS, manipulating it to execute harmful deeds such as crashing it into structures or disrupting aerial traffic. Operators of UAS must remain cognisant of these dangers and take proactive measures to minimise their impact.

Through mastering the fields of cybersecurity and UAS, experts within the aviation industry can play a pivotal role in safeguarding critical infrastructures and ensuring the well-being of both passengers and crew members.

Singapore is actively striving to implement an array of cybersecurity measures designed to shield pivotal aviation systems against cyber incursions. These measures encompass the enforcement of more robust authentication and access protocols, the encryption of data transmissions, and the regular execution of vulnerability assessments.

Given the perpetually evolving nature of the aviation sector, the demand for adept professionals specialising in cybersecurity and UAS is poised to only escalate in the impending years. By attaining proficiency in these pivotal technologies, aviation industry professionals can contribute significantly to upholding the safety and security of passengers and crew alike.

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