Singapore already has more than 100 aerospace companies based on its 710 sq. km island, but realizes it must continually strengthen this community. Josephine Teo, minister of state for Singapore, told MRO Asia Conference attendees that Singapore “is building from a position of strength” and to keep it that way, it is embracing three key strategies.
The first encourages maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies in Singapore to emphasize productivity and innovation, because its cost structure will not allow companies here to compete solely on price. To this point, the government has helped companies like Singapore Aero Engine Services invest in technology to reduce Rolls-Royce Trent engine overhaul times by 25%. Teo also pointed out that Singapore Jamco created the first flammability test lab in the region, which decreases the time it takes to complete burn tests done for cabin design, modification and certification projects.
The second strategy involves raising the quality of human capital by encouraging new and advanced aerospace classes at local schools and universities. She said by offering a wide spectrum of aerospace training options, Singapore is committing to improving its citizens’ skills and “building a pipeline of future leaders” to “sustain a competitive advantage.”
The third is planning new land and infrastructure projects for Seletar and Changi airports. She told conference attendees that a steering group is working on further developing Changi Airport, by possibly improving runway capacity and increasing the number of MRO facilities at the airport. Teo plans to share the group’s plan with industry in 2013.
Singapore, which already has a strong infrastructure, must improve its supply chain, suggested Aloysius Tay, CEO of the Association of Aerospace Industries in Singapore. “We can’t rest on our laurels” and “need to find good supply chain partners to ensure we stay an aerospace hub of choice,” he said.
He agrees with Teo that further productivity gains need to be encouraged, so people don’t work longer but more efficiently.