Mr Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore, opened the third World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum this morning. The Forum, with the theme of "Aviation in Challenging Times: Building Resilience, Leading Recovery", will address how the global aviation industry can meet the challenges and reap the opportunities under the current economic uncertainties. The Forum is organised by the Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA), the training arm of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), from 6 - 7 August 2009 at its premises.
Mr Roberto Kobeh González, President of the Council, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), delivered the keynote address. Mr Kobeh is in Singapore at the joint invitation of Mr George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore, and Minister Raymond Lim under the auspices of Singapore's International Organisations Distinguished Visitors Programme.
More than 100 chief executives from civil aviation authorities, airports and air navigation service providers from over 50 countries and 10 international and regional organisations are attending the Forum. The leaders and experts from the international aviation arena will discuss issues and challenges faced by the industry in this turbulent period, and approaches to steer the aviation industry towards recovery.
In his welcome address, Minister Raymond Lim spoke on the importance of key fundamentals - aviation safety, commercial viability and air services liberalisation as a catalyst for economic recovery. He said, "Singapore is honoured to contribute by bringing together the thought leaders of the industry for this distinguished event. It is only with the cooperation and commitment of all stakeholders that the aviation industry can ride out the storm and emerge stronger."
Minister Raymond Lim also reiterated Singapore's commitment to human capital development in the global civil aviation community. Minister said, "Re-skilling human resources to gear up the aviation industry to cope with the changes ahead and for the eventual upturn has never been more critical. The signing of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ICAO and Singapore today is therefore timely."
During the opening ceremony of the Forum, Minister Raymond Lim and Mr Kobeh signed a new MOU between ICAO and Singapore to renew the ICAO-Singapore Developing Country Training Programme, providing fellowships for participants from developing ICAO Contracting States to attend specialised aviation training courses at SAA. Given the strong international response to the programme, the number of fellowships offered has been increased from 150 to 180. The 180 fellowships, estimated to be valued at US$1,100,000, is a demonstration of Singapore's commitment towards human resource development for international civil aviation. The fellowships are sponsored under the Singapore Cooperation Programme, managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and CAAS.
Fact Sheet on the Singapore-ICAO Developing Country Training Programme
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has the mission to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system that make a key contribution to Singapore’s success. CAAS’ roles are as an enabler of the growth of the air hub and aviation industry, to inculcate a strong safety culture in the industry, provide air navigation services, and develop Singapore as a centre of excellence for aviation knowledge and human resource development.
About the Singapore Aviation Academy (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 levels. 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 over 48,000 participants from 190 countries. SAA is made up of four specialised schools - School of Aviation Management, School of Aviation Safety & Security, School of Air Traffic Services and School of Airport Emergency Services.