SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore will commit SGD500 million to support aviation companies and workers in the coming financial year as air travel picks up, announced Transport Minister S Iswaran in Parliament yesterday.
Speaking at his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate, he said the OneAviation Resilience Package will help the sector ramp up its capacity in managing increased traveller volumes, in order to rebuild and reclaim Singapore’s status as an international aviation hub.
“Changi’s air connectivity anchors the Singapore economy. … To lose Changi’s connectivity, is to lose this key competitive advantage, and our livelihoods that depend on it,” said Mr Iswaran.
“Fortunately, we are in a different situation today thanks to a better understanding of the virus, well-established safe management measures, and high levels of vaccination in our population. Hence, we have been able to take careful and calibrated steps to reopen our borders.”
The OneAviation Resilience Package includes SGD60 million to rebuild the sector’s workforce, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said in a separate press release.
Aviation companies will receive wage support via an extension of the Aviation Workforce Retention Grant for six months, covering 10 per cent of wages paid to local employees from April to September this year. A cap of SGD4,600 of gross monthly wages per employee applies.
Another SGD390 million will be set aside for cost relief and support for public health safeguards.
This includes extending rebates on fees payable by aviation companies at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport for six months. Further support will be given based on the extent of air travel recovery, MOT said.
The Government will also continue to defray the cost of implementing public health and safe management measures at the airport, which the ministry said will enable safe air travel, protect aviation workers and the wider community.
The remaining SGD50 million will be set aside for the Aviation Development Fund to invest in longer-term industry and workforce transformation efforts. Examples include using technology to optimise airport operations and boost manpower productivity, as well as redesigning jobs to upskill workers.