Opening Address by Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew at the 28th IFATCA Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting
Mr. D. K. Behera,
IFATCA Executive Vice-President for Asia- Pacific
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning, and welcome to Singapore.
Challenges in Air Traffic Management
We are honoured to host the 28th International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers‟ Associations‟ Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting this year. 2011 is especially meaningful for Singapore, as we celebrate 100 years of aviation. On 16 March 1911, a British Bristol Boxkite biplane took off from the old racecourse not far from here, which marked the birth of aviation in Singapore. One hundred years on, aviation has become a key growth sector for Singapore.
2. Demand for air travel in the Asia-Pacific region is poised to grow faster than in any other region. About half of the world‟s air traffic growth in the next 20 years will be driven by this region, with total air traffic for the region growing some 7 per cent every year. This growing demand for air travel is so strong that Asia-Pacific airlines would need to triple the number of aircraft in the region‟s fleet to almost 13,500 by 2030.
3. With rising affluence, air travellers‟ expectations have also gone up: they expect minimum delays with little or no flight disruptions, greater passenger comfort, smoother gate-to-gate transfers, and so forth. Airlines in turn face fluctuating oil prices, which give rise to greater emphasis on cost efficiencies in all aspects of their operations, especially fuel-efficient routings. Growing concerns on climate change also compel air navigation services providers (or ANSPs), airlines and other industry stakeholders to re-examine the way operations are conducted so as to be environmentally friendly, and where possible, minimise carbon emissions generated by aviation.
ATC’s Role in Eco-Friendly Aviation
4. The theme for this Meeting – “Towards Greener Skies: ATC’s Role in Eco-Friendly Aviation” – is therefore timely. Climate change could very well be this century‟s single most significant challenge with far-reaching ramifications across a wide spectrum of sectors. While international aviation contributes only 2 per cent of total global CO2 emissions, manufacturers, operators, airports, and ANSPs need to play their part in addressing aviation emissions and achieving the sustainable development of international aviation in the long term. The adoption of the climate change Resolution A37-19 by ICAO Member States affirms the determination of ICAO Member States to address climate change by limiting or reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation.
5. Airlines, engine manufacturers and aircraft makers, such as Rolls Royce, Boeing and Airbus, have taken important steps to optimise the fuel efficiency of new aircraft and reduce carbon emissions. In addition, ongoing exploration to find suitable alternative aviation fuels provides further potential for reducing aviation CO2 emissions.
6. ATC can play its part by facilitating greater aircraft fuel efficiencies through astute design and management of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. For example, enhancing surveillance and navigational accuracy will create room for improvements in route networks. Reduction in aircraft-to-aircraft separation, safety permitting, would also result in more optimal flight routes and reduced aircraft emissions. Given the transboundary nature of air traffic, it is necessary for the Asia-Pacific region to act together to harmonise the design and implementation of a seamless ATM system so that all can enjoy the benefits of these initiatives.
CAAS’s ATM Initiatives
7. In line with ICAO‟s climate change Resolution, Singapore is committed to do its part by implementing greener ATM initiatives to enhance efficiencies that contribute towards the long term sustainability of aviation. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has been part of the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions programme, or ASPIRE in short. In February 2010, CAAS partnered Singapore Airlines (SIA) to launch the world‟s first multi-sector green demonstration flight between Singapore, Tokyo and Los Angeles, which employed enhanced gate-togate ATM operational procedures toreduce fuel burn and carbon emissions in all phases of the flight. Since May this year, CAAS and SIA have taken further steps to reduce the carbon footprint of flights by launching regular non-stop Los Angeles-Singapore green flights under the ASPIRE-Daily City Pair programme. SIA expects to reduce fuel burn by 2 tonnes and achieve carbon emission savings of around 6.3 tonnes for each green flight. Through multilateral collaboration among stakeholders in employing ATM best practices and technologies, the Los Angeles – Singapore City Pair has been assigned an ASPIRE 4-star rating
8. CAAS is also collaborating with the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand on implementing Collaborative Decision Making between the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Changi city-pair under the auspices of the Civil Air Navigation Service Organisation. The pilot project aims to demonstrate gains in overall operational efficiency through data-sharing amongst all aviation stakeholders including airline operators, airport management and air navigation services providers. With better information sharing and situation awareness, stakeholders at both airports will be able to make more effective and timely decisions to improve operational efficiencies, which translate into reduced aircraft delays, more fuel savings, and ultimately, greater reductions in aviation carbon emissions.
9. CAAS has also been exploring new flight operational procedures that contribute to greener aviation. The plan is for Continuous Descent Operations procedures to be implemented at Singapore Changi Airport inearly 2012.
10. Over the next two days, the meeting will look at initiatives that will open up new ways for Air Traffic Controllers to continue providing the highest standards in safety and operational efficiency while being environmentally friendly. I encourage you to make full use of this meeting to exchange ideas and experiences, and learn from one another how we can meet the challenges of the ever-changing aviation industry in the face of climate change.
11. I wish all delegates a successful and fruitful meeting.
12. Thank you
Source: Ministry of Transport