Government to Provide Further Support to the Aviation Sector
The Government will commit an additional $84 million to the aviation sector to support aviation companies and workers as they weather the impact of COVID-19. This is on top of the previous government support for the sector, including the Aviation Sector Assistance Package and the Enhanced Aviation Support Package.
2 The aviation sector remains hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of passenger traffic movements at Changi Airport in November 2020 is down 98% year-on-year. Given ongoing border restrictions and the resurgence of COVID-19 in many countries over winter, air travel will not recover soon. It is therefore critical that we maintain our support for the sector to help aviation companies and workers tide through the crisis.
Helping aviation companies manage increased costs of operations due to COVID-19
3 Our aviation companies have implemented measures to enable air travel, while minimising public health risk. These measures require additional infrastructure, equipment and manpower. They have added significant cost which cannot be recovered from passengers during this period.
4 To help mitigate some of these costs, the Government will provide funding to support the development, adoption and deployment of innovative technologies and measures to protect our airport workers and air crew from contracting COVID-19. These include aircraft and baggage sanitisation systems.
5 The Government will also continue to provide rebates for fees and charges. 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 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. We will also provide 50% rebate for license fees payable for ground handling and catering services at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
6 In total, these assistance measures will cost about $39 million.
Supporting workers to retrain and retain their skills
7 The Government will also provide additional support for aviation workers. Many workers in the sector have taken wage cuts due to reduction in working hours, while others have been placed on no-pay leave. Pilots, air traffic controllers and aircraft maintenance engineers who have to pay for their license fees and medical evaluation fees will get a full rebate for fees payable between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.
8 Some aviation workers would like to transition to other jobs in the sector. We will work with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG), NTUC LearningHub and the NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster to help at-risk and under-employed aviation workers to enhance their employability and acquire skills to move to other jobs within the sector. Additional support will be provided for new programmes to be developed for such workers. More details will be announced in January 2021.
9 Pilots need years to get their license and certification. To ensure that we have sufficient number of pilots for the eventual recovery, we will also work with SSG to provide funding support to Singapore-based airlines to re-train their pilots and keep their skills current.
10 Together, these measures to help workers amount to about $20 million.
Investing in productivity to position for recovery
11 Even as companies manage the immediate impact of COVID-19, it is important that they continue to invest in projects to improve productivity and build capabilities. This will enable the sector to manage longer-term manpower constraints and be ready for the recovery.
12 To encourage companies to continue with their innovation and productivity efforts, we will inject an additional $25 million into the Aviation Development Fund (ADF). This will provide an enhanced level of funding support of up to 90% to companies until the end of FY2021 (i.e. 31 March 2022) for companies’ initiatives. Such productivity efforts will improve the attractiveness of the sector to Singaporeans, support the employability of older workers, and reduce the sector’s reliance on foreign workforce in the longer-term.
13 Through these measures, we will strengthen the resilience of our companies and workers in the aviation sector as the sector continues to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. This is critical to reviving our air hub and ensuring that we are well-positioned for the recovery of air travel.
14 Refer to Annex A for the list of additional support measures for the aviation sector.
Annex A - List of additional support measures for the aviation sector
Annex B - Quotes from industry in response to package
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation. For more information, visit www.caas.gov.sg
For media queries, please contact: