The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and DFS Aviation Services (DAS), the commercial subsidiary of the German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to step up collaboration to improve performance in air traffic management, as air travel between Singapore and Germany recovers to pre-pandemic levels. Both Singapore and Germany are major air hubs in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Pre-COVID, there were 42 weekly flights between Singapore and Germany. These have since recovered to 37 weekly flights, or 88% of pre-COVID levels.
Under the MOU, CAAS and DAS will collaborate in four areas: (i) safety; (ii) sustainability; (iii) performance benchmarking; and (iv) training.
On safety, CAAS and DAS will work to enhance aviation safety, through strengthening (i) safety data collection and analysis; (ii) safety culture amongst air traffic control officers and system engineers; and (iii) investigation processes into safety incidents. Both parties will also work on developing safe air traffic management (ATM) concepts, solutions and technology for the next generation of ATM systems.
On sustainability, CAAS and DAS will exchange ideas and share their respective sustainable ATM initiatives. These include CAAS’ Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint that is being developed, and DAS’s research into climate-friendly flight management such as contrail prevention. Both parties will also work towards launching joint trials and demonstrations in long-range air traffic flow management to reduce carbon emissions.
On performance benchmarking, CAAS and DAS will establish a set of common indicators for benchmarking Singapore and German airports and improving performance. The set of common performance indicators agreed between Singapore and Germany – which can include additional fuel burn, taxi-out additional times and additional time in terminal airspace – can provide a template which can later be extended to and adopted by airports worldwide.
On training, the Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA), the training arm of CAAS, and DAS will exchange training instructors and jointly develop new training pedagogy curriculums and programmes to strengthen their respective manpower capabilities to support future growth. Both parties will also jointly develop and market seminars and courses for the international market.
The MOU was signed between Mr Ng Tee Chiou, Deputy Director-General of CAAS, and Mr Andreas Pötzsch and Mr Pierre Hermann, Managing Directors of DAS on 21 March 2023. The MOU renews the partnership that was established between CAAS and DAS in 2018, which was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS, said, “The new MOU between CAAS and DAS is significant as it is a collaboration between two leading air hubs of the world. We will leverage each other’s expertise to improve performance and serve as a pathfinder for key emerging issues affecting global aviation.”
Andreas Pötzsch, Managing Director, DFS Aviation Services, said, “This Memorandum of Understanding represents the recognition that we are working towards the same goal – to enhance ATM safety standards and performance across the globe. For our both organisations, this MOU symbolizes a partnership which we believe will lead to many new joint ATM initiatives that produce new synergies.”