Govt to provide additional S$84 million to help aviation sector: CAAS

The aviation sector is one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jason Fan | December 29, 2020, 07:43 PM

The government will be providing another S$84 million to the aviation sector, to help aviation companies and workers 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.

Aviation sector hit hard by Covid-19

According to the release by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Dec. 29, the number of passenger traffic movements at Changi Airport in November 2020 is down 98 per cent year-on-year.

In addition, aviation companies have also implemented certain measures to enable air travel, while minimising public health risk.

These measures require additional infrastructure, equipment and manpower, which are significant costs which cannot be recovered from passengers during this period.

This makes the aviation sector one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

CAAS will provide rebates for aviation sector

In order to help aviation companies mitigate some of these costs, the government will provide funding to support the development, adoption and deployment of innovative technologies and measures to protect airport workers and air crew from contracting Covid-19.

These include aircraft and baggage sanitisation systems.

The government will continue to provide rebates for fees and charges, and CAAS will waive the fees payable by Singapore-based airlines for their Certificates of Airworthiness, as well as their license fees payable for providing scheduled air services.

The waiver will apply to fees payable between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

CAAS will also provide a 50 per cent rebate for license fees payable for ground handling and catering services at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

In total, these assistance measures will cost about S$39 million.

CAAS will help aviation workers find new jobs

In addition, the government will also provide support for aviation workers, including those who have taken wage cuts, or those who 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 April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

CAAS will also work with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), WorkForce Singapore (WSG), NTUC LearningHub and the NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster to help 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, and more details will be announced in January 2021.

Companies must continue to improve productivity

According to CAAS, it is important for companies to continue to invest in projects that improve productivity and build capabilities, while managing the immediate impact of Covid-19.

In order to encourage companies to continue with their innovation and productivity efforts, CAAS will inject an additional S$25 million into the Aviation Development Fund (ADF), which will provide an enhanced level of funding support of up to 90 per cent to companies until March 31, 2022, for their initiatives.

Such productivity efforts will help 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.

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Top image via Singapore Airlines/FB.