The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will allocate S$11.6 million over the next five years to fund an Aviation Studies Institute, a jointly established institution with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), to advance air traffic management research and development.
As announced in a joint release by CAAS and SUTD, the two partners signed a Memorandum of Agreement on 9 April 2019, on the sidelines of the World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum, to set up the Aviation Studies Institute (ASI). The ASI is located within SUTD’s campus and will undertake research projects in four main areas, Network Capacity, Airfield Management and Economics, Airport Connectivity and Information Sharing and Collaborative Decision Making. The release also pointed out that the ASI aims to benefit the wider aviation community by enabling stakeholders to adopt solutions that can enhance operational efficiency, increase capacity and global interoperability. The ASI is Singapore’s fourth facility dedicated to air traffic management research and development. The other three are the Air Traffic Management Research Institute (ATMRI), MITRE Asia Pacific Singapore (MAPS) and the CAAS and Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) Joint Air Traffic Management Research Laboratory.
CAAS’ investment in the ASI for the next five years will fund research in aviation and air traffic management policy, as well as aviation experts for research projects. SUTD will provide in-kind contributions of $5 million, including research manpower and facilities.
Professor Peter Jackson, Head of the Engineering Systems and Design Pillar at SUTD, will be the first Director of the ASI. In an interview, Prof Jackson said that the ASI will focus not only on the operation of air traffic management, but also study and discuss aviation management policies with a strategic perspective. He pointed out that this includes exploring ways of increasing air traffic capacity through policy and technology enhancements, and how to properly allocate landing times along airport runways for flights of different airlines, etc.
The ASI will also organise seminars and workshops to strengthen cooperation among regional airlines. Prof Jackson also said that the ASI hopes to become a Centre of Excellence in Aviation research and development, strengthening Singapore’s relationship with regional countries, and contributing solutions to regional air traffic management.
Moreover, in addition to opportunities for SUTD researchers to participate in the ASI’s research projects, SUTD undergraduates can also participate in research related to the collection and analysis of data. SUTD will also begin to launch an airport system research course in about two years.
“The ASI is a key element of CAAS’ larger effort to develop Singapore as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for ATM and facilitate the development of safer and more efficient air travel. It will expand the scope of ATM R&D in Singapore to generate insights for improving and transforming our operating models,” said Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS.
SUTD President, Professor Chong Tow Chong, said, “The new research institute will not only tackle practical problems in Aviation policy, but also approach them from a system design perspective and leverage the computational tools of data analytics. This partnership with CAAS is also a major step forward in one of the major thrusts of SUTD’s strategic growth plan.”