The Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA) is holding a week-long event from 1 to 5 December 2008 to celebrate its 50 years of operation. The anniversary celebrations kicked off this morning with the SAA 50th Anniversary Lecture, which brought together leaders of the international aviation community as well as SAA's partners, associates and alumni. This evening, a special gala dinner will be held to honour those who have contributed to the success of SAA. A 5-day civil aviation management programme to share insights on global aviation trends and challenges is also being held at SAA for some 15 senior aviation chief executives and management.
Introducing the SAA 50th Anniversary Lecture this morning, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Mr Lim Kim Choon, took stock of SAA's achievements and highlighted the main challenges going forward. He said, "SAA has come a long way, transforming into a globally recognised centre for learning in aviation. The challenge ahead for SAA is to build on its legacy of achievement. It must continue to strengthen its engagement with partners and stakeholders, and strive to meet the evolving needs of the global aviation community."
The Anniversary Lecture was delivered by Mr Roberto Kobeh González, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Mr Kobeh, who was specially invited to attend SAA's anniversary celebrations, shared his insights and spoke on "Prospects and Issues on Global Civil Aviation".
This morning, Singapore and ICAO also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide 50 training fellowships to ICAO member States for training at SAA in 2009. The MOU was signed by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, and Mr Roberto Kobeh González, President of the Council of ICAO. These 50 fellowships, which are co-sponsored by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Singapore Cooperation Programme and CAAS, mark SAA's 50th Anniversary, cementing long standing and close collaboration with ICAO in human resource development. Through the MOU, specialised aviation training programmes at SAA will be made available to developing countries to help them build up their human resources critical to the sustainable development of civil aviation.
SAA Fellows and Appreciation Awards
At the gala dinner tonight graced by the Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, SAA will pay special tribute and recognise eminent instructors who have shown outstanding dedication and commitment to SAA and made significant contributions to SAA. The "SAA Fellows" title will be conferred on Prof Henry Fan from the Nanyang Technological University, Prof Brian O'Keeffe from the University of Canberra and Mr Ralph Sexton, an expert on ICAO PANS-OPS instruments procedures design.
Tonight, SAA Appreciation Awards will be given out to thank organisations who have partnered with SAA and shared their expertise in the training programmes or have provided technical assistance to enable many participants to receive training at SAA. Twenty-four organisations will receive this award, including the United Nations Development Programme, the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation and the International Air Transport Association.
In addition, the SAA Appreciation Awards will be given to 41 present and past CAAS staff to recognise their contribution to the development of SAA's programmes over the years.
About SAA: The Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA) is the training arm of CAAS and was founded in 1958. Over the past 50 years, SAA has established itself as a renowned centre of learning in aviation and is continuously introducing new programmes to address the needs of aviation professionals at all stages of their careers. In 2000, SAA was conferred the prestigious Edward Warner award by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for its eminent contribution as a centre of excellence in international civil aviation training. To date, SAA has trained almost 45,000 participants from 190 countries. SAA is made up of four specialised schools - School of Aviation Management, School of Civil Aviation Safety and Security, School of Air Traffic Services and School of AirporT Emergency Services.