Here's what our scholars have to say about their experience in CAAS:
Ascending to Greater Heights in Aviation
What motivated you to join the CAAS?
I developed an interest in political studies and international relations when I took a module in Geopolitics in junior college. I became interested in public service as well through my experiences shadowing Members of Parliament at Meet-the-People sessions. These motivated me to apply for a government scholarship with an international angle. As aviation is a key sector with a crucial interface with the rest of the world, CAAS was a fitting choice that balances my interests in international relations and public policy. Furthermore, the aviation sector and Changi Airport are emblems of our national identity. It is a deep privilege to be able to play my part in contributing not only to the success of the aviation industry, but also to Singapore.
Share with us the opportunities you had received as an overseas undergraduate scholar.
CAAS offered me the chance to pursue my academic interests through a wide range of approved educational institutions and degree programs. My four years of undergraduate and postgraduate studies in King’s College London and Stanford University were transformative, and my horizons were broadened in many different ways. In particular, I was deeply inspired by the vibrant and passionate graduate student community around me in Stanford. I studied alongside diplomats, soldiers, researchers and historians, all bringing their diverse experiences and passions, and collectively creating an intense and intellectually stimulating environment. Such exposure helped me develop confidence, critical-thinking skills, and the sensitivities to approach and discuss difficult issues with fellow researchers of different backgrounds. CAAS also kept in close contact with its scholars by regularly checking in to ensure that we were doing well and helping to arrange our summer internships. I was given the opportunity to intern twice, once with the International Relations Division and once with the Air Transport Division.
How does your role contribute to the development of Singapore as an aviation hub?
In my current role, I engage our aviation industry partners and lead a range of productivity projects at the airport. The end goals, which guide our negotiations and policies, are to develop a more productive and innovative aviation industry, build diverse manpower pipelines for aviation, and create economic value for the Singapore economy.
What do you find rewarding about your role?
I had the opportunity to work on the launch of the Air Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2017. It gave me an early and direct insight into the policy aspirations of the economic agencies in Singapore. I saw first-hand how the broad vision of the ITM guides us in the ways we engage our partners and stakeholders, in the negotiation of the grants, programs and projects. These efforts were especially rewarding when we saw them come to fruition across the passenger, baggage and cargo handling processes at the airport. In the recently opened Terminal 4, we witnessed the successful implementation of the centralized dishwashing facility, the FAST self-service systems and Wi-Fi network for apron operations, which are projects supported by CAAS’ Aviation Development Fund (ADF). The ADF was established in 2010 to accelerate the development and growth of the aviation industry by providing sector-level and company-level grant programs for productivity and innovation initiatives.
What are the professional development opportunities at CAAS?
Presently, there are many learning opportunities in diverse areas of technical and policy responsibilities within the organization. Through job rotations, I can gain exposure and continue my learning journey as I progress in CAAS. There are also opportunities to be seconded to the Ministry of Transport, other statutory boards or overseas to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Mission office in Montreal, Canada. To guide officers through this journey, CAAS provides extensive developmental and training opportunities. Officers are also tasked with cross-organizational responsibilities such as the coordination of internal events, work plan and futures discussions, where we are exposed to different aspects of CAAS’ work. Our managers at CAAS are also very open and approachable in discussing our personal and career development priorities. CAAS is supportive of each officer’s learning, as evident in the various conferences, courses and study trips that I have had the privilege of attending within my first year here. These vast opportunities provide a vibrant yet nurturing environment for new officers to begin their careers.
Any words of advice for those aspiring to join CAAS?
Aviation is an exciting industry to be in – aviation companies are often at the forefront of their technological specializations, aviation safety and security, and work with highly advanced and critical systems. There is exciting policy work involved on the local and international level. There are also countless areas for growth and development in CAAS, and you can be part of a supportive organization that is intentional and comprehensive in people development.
Source: Brightsparks 2018 Vol. 1. Permission required for reproduction.
Name of Scholarship:CAAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship
Designation:Manager (Asia Pacific)
Qualification:Bachelor of Arts (Politics), King’s College London & Master of Arts (East Asian Studies), Stanford University