Singapore is committing an additional SGD84 million to the aviation sector to support aviation companies and workers as they weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is on top of the previous government support for the sector, including the Aviation Sector Assistance Package and the Enhanced Aviation Support Package.
According to the Civial Aviation Authority of Singapore, the number of passenger traffic movements at Changi Airport in November 2020 is down 98 per cent year-on-year. Given ongoing border restrictions and the resurgence of COVID-19 in many countries over winter, air travel is not likely to recover soon, CAAS added.
Aviation companies in Singapore have implemented measures to enable air travel, while minimising public health risk. The measures require additional infrastructure, equipment and manpower, thereby adding significant cost which cannot be recovered from passengers during this period.
The funding aims to help mitigate some of these costs, by supporting the development, adoption and deployment of innovative technologies and measures to protect airport workers and air crew from contracting COVID-19.
In addition, CAAS will waive the fees payable by Singapore-based airlines for their Certificates of Airworthiness, as well as their licence fees payable for providing scheduled air services. The waiver will apply to fees payable between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
CAAS will also help at-risk and under-employed aviation workers to enhance their employability and acquire skills to move to other jobs within the sector.
Moreover, as pilots need years to get their license and certification, CAAS will work with SSG to provide funding support to Singapore-based airlines to re-train their pilots and keep their skills current. This will ensure that Singapore has sufficient number of pilots for the eventual recovery.