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Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Aerospace Leaders Dialogue Singapore 2023

Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Aerospace Leaders Dialogue Singapore 2023

Mr Wong Yue Jeen, President, Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore) (AAIS),

 

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS),

 

The Management Committee and Members of AAIS,

 

Distinguished Guests,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good Morning.

 

1. I am delighted to join you at the Aerospace Leaders Dialogue Singapore (ALDS) 2023. Each and everyone of you is a captain of the aerospace and aviation sectors.

 

2. It is important to remember that three years ago, the slowdown in demand exacerbated the difficulties faced by businesses, not only in the aviation sector, but across all sectors.

 

3. Today, with strong support from AAIS and industry players, our aviation and aerospace industries are more resilient and stronger than ever.

 

a. Having weathered the storm, we now set our sights on the future. Aerospace production has exceeded pre-COVID levels since 2Q 2022, and companies have ramped up hiring to fill about 3,000 new roles this year.

 

b. Our aviation industry is also well-poised for growth, with passenger traffic at Changi Airport expected to fully recover by 2024.

 

4. On behalf of the Government, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you in the community for the solidarity, and also for the important role that AAIS has played in helping the industry ride through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Spurring Innovation

 

5. Moving forward, as we stretch our wings and gear up for growth, it is timely for us to accelerate our efforts in innovation, aswe look forward to work closely with industry stakeholders, companies, and associations to take our aerospace industry to higher heights. 

 

Let me share our aims and plans: 

 

a. Through our refreshed Aerospace Industry Transformation Map (ITM), we hope to achieve $4.6 billion in real value-added by 2025, which is a 15% increase over the ITM 2020 target.

 

b. To achieve these goals, we will innovate and push through new technologies. Government agencies and companies have been working with numerous stakeholders on R&D initiatives, such as the Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab between A*Star, Rolls-Royce, and SAESL. 

 

c. The Joint Lab provides a platform for companies to develop next-generation MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) and manufacturing technologies. More than 100 SMEs have participated in the Joint Lab so far, with some of them becoming qualified suppliers to global aerospace companies. This is the type of thriving, vibrant ecosystem that we want to see in Singapore.

 

d. Such R&D collaborations help grow our local manufacturing ecosystem by creating opportunities for our local companies to co-innovate with multinational corporates and develop best-in-class technological solutions. We hope to see the public and private sectors working even more closely together, to reach new heights in our local aviation and aerospace industries.

 

6. To that end, AAIS has played a vital role in driving innovation across our industries. It has beenactively facilitating local capability development and promoting thought leadership in areas of growth such as unmanned aerial systems and sustainability. 

 

a. In May this year, AAIS, with the support of Enterprise Singapore, organised the Singapore pavilion at the Unmanned Systems Asia 2023 exhibition. The pavilion featured six Singaporean companies and showcased their technologies, from additive manufacturing and 3D solutions, to unmanned traffic management. Some of these technologies may not seem immediately relevant to the aerospace and aviation sectors, but they actually have a lot of application upsides for the sectors.

 

b. I am glad that AAIS is supporting our local companies at international platforms to help showcase Singapore’s innovations and expertise to the rest of the world. I would like to assure you that Enterprise Singapore will continue to support local companies to spread your wings and participate in more of these international platforms.Developing Local Talent

 

7. Besides building our technological capabilities in aviation and aerospace manufacturing to stay ahead of the curve, we are also continuing to strengthen and invest in the pipeline of local talent for the sector’s growth. Post-COVID, many of the sectors are facing a manpower crunch, especially inskilled talent.

 

a. We hope that as you recruit graduates from ITE, polytechnic and universities, you will also be open to mid-career hires. Workforce Singapore has recently appointed AAIS to administer the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for aerospace personnel. The CCP supports aerospace employees in their transition to new or enhanced roles. This enables companies to better retain skilled talents.

 

b. Efforts to draw young people into the sector are important to keep the aerospace sector fresh and vibrant. I am glad that this year’s Aerospace Day 2023 organised by AAIS and its partners, attracted over 1,000 polytechnic and ITE students, and mid-career job-seekers. The participants got a chance to learn more about the aerospace sector and its career prospects, as well as meet companies in this industry.

 

8. I would like to encourage companies to participate in these talent development and outreach initiatives which are valuable platforms for talent attraction and brand building.

 

Launch of AAIS’s new logo

 

9. Today, we mark the beginning of AAIS’s 20th anniversary celebrations with the launch of the Association’s new logo and brand. 

 

a. I understand that the new logo is an artful nod to the past 20 years of achievements of AAIS and also a reflection of its future aspirations.

 

b. Its colour and form underscores its 20-year history, and its logo designembodies AAIS’ vision of a dynamic, innovative, and sustainable future for our aviation and aerospace industries.

 

Conclusion 

 

10. We look forward to AAIS’ continued contributions to the sector. Four important pillars will continue to future-proof the sector to ensure that we can stand as a distinctive control tower for companies in Singapore to orchestrate and manage theiractivities in the Asia-Pacific region: (i) innovation; (ii) digitalisation to redesign jobs such that we can do more with a leaner manpower; (iii) sustainability; and (iv) continuing to embrace tools to raise productivity. 

 

11. I trust that your collective efforts in innovation and talent development will serve as wings of growth that enable the aviation and aerospace industry to soar to new heights.

 

12. Congratulations once again to AAIS for your 20th anniversary! I wish you every success in your endeavours. Aim high and shoot for the stars, because for your sector, the sky is truly the limit!

 

13. Thank you. 

 

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