The celebration kicked off with the SAA 50th Anniversary Lecture by Mr Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Addressing an audience comprising leaders of global aviation, along with SAA’s partners, associates and alumni, President Kobeh spoke on “Prospects and Issues on Global Civil Aviation”.
In his Welcome Address prior to the Lecture, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Mr Lim Kim Choon said, “SAA has come a long way from its basic beginnings. Today, SAA stands as a globally recognised centre for learning in aviation. The challenge ahead for SAA is to build on its legacy of achievement and continue to strengthen its engagement with the global aviation community and strive to meet their training needs.”
To mark the 50th anniversary, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Singapore and ICAO to provide fifty 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 President Kobeh. 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 development of civil aviation.
A gala dinner graced by 300 guests was held that evening at the Conrad Centennial Singapore. The dinner paid special tribute to SAA’s eminent instructors, alliance partners and present and past CAAS staff who have contributed significantly to the Academy’s success. The programmes of the dinner include a multimedia show to commemorate the 50 years of achievements, a special performance by SAA instructors, a national costume parade by SAA participants and staff, and a cake-cutting ceremony.