Improving Productivity in the Air Transport Sector

Factsheet on Technology Applications

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is working in close collaboration with tripartite partners to improve the productivity of the air transport sector. We hope to encourage greater innovation and operational efficiency at Changi Airport.

Existing jobs will be transformed through the use of new technology. For example, the deployment of robotics will relieve workers of labour-intensive tasks. To support the transformation, workers will have opportunities to upgrade their skills or be retrained to take on new jobs.


Some examples include:

  1. Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST)

    FAST will enhance the passenger travel experience. Passengers will have more choices for check-in and enjoy faster processing through automated self check-in kiosks and bag-drops.

    FAST automated self check-in has been gradually rolled out at the current terminals for airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia, SilkAir and Scoot. Feedback from passengers has been positive. Participating airlines have achieved manpower savings of up to 20%.

    Automated self bag-drop trials have also started in 2017 for Cathay Pacific and AirAsia at the current Terminal 1, in preparation for their move to the new Terminal 4 later this year.

    A full suite of automated, self-service options for check-in, bag-drop, immigration clearance and boarding will be deployed at Terminal 4. This will greatly reduce the need for manual processing. These facilities will be equipped with biometric technology.

  2. Robotics

    The application of robotics in baggage and cargo handling at the airport will allow for the automation of labour-intensive processes and reduce the physical strain on workers.

    CAAS has designed Aviation Challenges to encourage innovations in baggage and cargo handling. The challenges are supported by the Aviation Development Fund administered by CAAS.

    Aviation Challenge 1 aims to automate the narrow-body aircraft baggage handling process, while Aviation Challenge 2 aims to automate the build-up and breakdown of cargo pallets and containers.

    Currently, seven companies are developing prototype systems to transform baggage and cargo handling.

    These first two Aviation Challenges are expected to be completed in the second half of 2017.

  3. Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

    SATS has successfully completed AGV trials at its inflight catering centre to transport food items between food stores and assembly lines. Previously, staff working on the assembly lines had to make multiple trips to the chiller store for replenishments. Now, the same staff can call for supplies to be delivered by AGVs. This reduces preparation time by almost 40%.

    Airport companies are now exploring the use of AGVs in other airport processes, both on the land- and air-side. If successful, this will reduce the airport’s reliance on manual labour and improve working conditions, and there will be new jobs to manage these unmanned activities.

  4. Smart Watch and Bluetooth Bone Conductor Headsets

    SATS has integrated Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the form of Smart Watches and Bluetooth bone conductor headsets into daily ramp operations.

    These technologies allow ramp staff to receive real-time operational information, enabling them to make better decisions and respond faster to operational changes. The deployment of these technologies has cut down the time needed to service flights by 10% so far.

    Ramp staff also benefit from hands-free operations, as they can receive operational information and communicate with colleagues through the smart wearables. This allows them to carry out their tasks in a timely yet safe manner.

  5. Airport-Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM)

    Airport-Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) was launched at Changi Airport in the second half of 2016. This is an initiative by CAAS in partnership with Changi Airport Group and other stakeholders.

    A-CDM allows stakeholders to view and share real-time information via a common portal. This enhances overall situational awareness and decision-making processes, which in turn facilitates more timely responses to changes in the operating environment for safer, more efficient operations, and better passenger experience.

    Results from operational trials showed that aircraft taxiing time reduced by 90 seconds per flight during peak hours.


    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 about CAAS, visit


    For more information, please contact:

    Ms Michelle Teo
    Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
    Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
    DID: (65) 6541 2086
    Mobile: (65) 9825 0982

Last Updated on 04 August 2022