Singapore will press on with development plans for the Seletar Aerospace Park and grow the research and development (R&D) efforts for the aerospace industry.
The aviation industry has taken a nosedive amid turbulent economic conditions.
But the Economic Development Board (EDB) believes that long-term prospects remain positive.
President of the Association of Aerospace Industries of Singapore, Charles Chong, said: “There are many areas where there are opportunities and I think research and development is one of them. We have to find new methods to do things more efficiently, to reduce costs and so on.
“It will be a pity if companies because of this current economic problems cut back on that, then we will never improve.”
For one, Singapore is pressing ahead with plans to develop the 300-hectare Seletar Aerospace Park.
The park will host maintenance, repair and overhaul activities, as well as some manufacturing and other aviation businesses.
Giving an update on the project, the EDB says upgrading works on the Seletar Airport have started last month.
And it will take about 18 months to complete the extension of the runway to 1.8 kilometres. This will allow larger aircraft to land at the airport.
The aerospace industries association says the Seletar Park and similar developments in China and India will see the Asia Pacific region taking a higher stake of the global aerospace pie.
Infrastructure aside, observers say industry players must keep up with new technologies.
Deputy director of A*STAR’s Science and Engineering Research Council, Jasbir Singh, said: “I think this lull period is a time where we are trying to get more people to come on board and hopefully by reducing their risk in investing in these ideas on their own, they can work with us.”
Eight companies signed up with the council’s aerospace R&D programme on Friday.
They will look into areas such as the development of intelligent sensors, advanced materials for aircraft bodies, improvements for maintenance, repair and overhaul practices.
Source : Channel News Asia - 20 Feb 2009