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Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore signs MOUs with IATA and GACA of Saudi Arabia

IATA-CAAS
Mr Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA (left) and Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS (right) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration to support the growth of aviation in Singapore and Asia-Pacific region.

The MOUs was signed by Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS, Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA and H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of GACA at the sidelines of the Changi Aviation Summit.

On 19 February 2024, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen collaboration to support the growth of aviation in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. Under the MOU, CAAS and IATA will work together on initiatives in the areas of aviation sustainability, air traffic management, aviation safety and aviation training. The MOU was signed by Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS, and Mr Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA at the sidelines of the Changi Aviation Summit.

The key initiatives under the MOU include:

(i) Aviation Sustainability
Development of initiatives to advance sustainable aviation for Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. These include the development of a Sustainable Aviation Fuels accounting and reporting system.

(ii) Air Traffic Management
Development and implementation of a regional training cooperation framework to improve regional air navigation services performance.

(iii) Aviation Safety
Development of solutions and provision of operational safety data and expertise to support the identification and mitigation of safety risks, including through data-driven safety initiatives.

(iv)Aviation Training
Development and provision of training courses and assistance to local and international trainees.

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS said, “Singapore is a small island state for which international aviation is existential for our survival. We find in IATA a natural partner. We are like-minded. We share the same commitment to serve the international aviation community. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and with aviation poised for growth, the CAAS-IATA MOU cements this partnership and takes it to a higher level. By bringing our teams closer together, we hope to unlock the many opportunities to provide new connectivity, products and services to serve airlines and air passengers better, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Mr Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA said, “IATA has a long history in Singapore, having established our office in 1969. Singapore is IATA’s home in Asia-Pacific. From here we manage activities to support the sustainable development of airlines and the aviation industry. CAAS has always been an important partner for IATA and we are delighted to deepen this collaboration through this MoU. We look forward to a continuing close relationship that strengthens aviation’s benefits for Singapore and across the Asia-Pacific region.”

On the same day (19th February) CAAS and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and upgraded their bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) to strengthen collaboration between the two air hubs. The MOU and the upgraded ASA were signed by Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS, and H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of GACA, at the sidelines of the Changi Aviation Summit.

The new CAAS-GACA MOU provides a platform for the two civil aviation authorities to conduct regular exchanges and broad-based technical cooperation in various areas, including civil aviation infrastructure, civil aviation operations and assets management, digitisation of passenger experience, safety, security and environmental protection and technology adoption. As part of this cooperation, CAAS and GACA will undertake expert visits to share experience and relevant scientific and technical information. CAAS and GACA will also work together to support training and provide opportunities for participation in projects, jointly organised seminars, conferences, workshops sessions and training courses.

CAAS-CAGA

H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of GACA (left) and Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS (right).

The upgraded ASA allows air carriers from both countries to operate additional passenger services exercising 3rd and 4th freedom traffic rights, as well as additional passenger services exercising 5th freedom traffic rights with the removal of restrictions on routing, capacity or aircraft type. The upgrade to the ASA will take effect immediately. The ASA between Singapore and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was first signed in 1990. This is the fifth upgrade to the ASA since its signing.

Singapore and Saudi Arabia are major air hubs of their respective regions. Both CAAS and GACA have announced plans to grow their respective aviation sectors to meet rising demand for air traffic. Singapore is developing Changi Airport Terminal Five with the capacity to serve over 50 million passengers per annum in its initial phase. This will be a 60% increase of its current capacity of 90 million passengers per annum in Terminals One to Four combined. Saudi Arabia is growing its tourism and aviation sector through the Saudi Aviation Strategy, backed by US$100 billion in investments including the construction of the King Salman International Airport. The airport is projected to accommodate 120 million passengers per annum with capacity to grow to 185 million by 2050.

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS said, “The CAAS-GACA MOU and upgraded ASA are significant in establishing hub-to-hub collaboration between the two major air hubs of the world and is testament to the growing ties between Singapore and Saudi Arabia. There is much that we can learn from each other. Through this partnership, we hope to increase exchanges and discuss ways by which we can leverage our respective growth strategies to bring our two regions closer together”.

H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of GACA said, “This agreement reinforces Singapore’s position as a strategic aviation partner of Saudi Arabia, where the Saudi Aviation Strategy is creating unprecedented opportunities for aviation companies. The agreement will enhance cooperation in the fields of safety, security, sustainability, logistics, and training, and enable the adoption of the latest technologies and best practices in aviation. I look forward to exchanging expertise, enhancing collaboration and creating investment opportunities with Singapore, supporting Saudi Arabia’s transformation into a global hub in line with Vision 2030”.

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