Show bows in as air traffic soars

Singapore Air Show » 2008
February 19, 2008, 3:27 AM

The air transport industry’s center of gravity is shifting to Asia and Singapore’s aerospace industry is poised to reap the benefit, the country’s prime minister said here yesterday before officially opening the show.

Lee Hsien Loong said the industry’s output had grown more than 10 percent last year to reach nearly S$7 billion ($4.9 billion). And the country is developing its infrastructure and skills to make sure the growth continues.

“Top aerospace companies have found Singapore an attractive location for their R&D activities because of our high standards of intellectual property protection, strong pool of research talents and extensive R&D infrastructure,” Lee said.

“The government is taking this a step further by facilitating high-risk research that individual companies may not embark upon on their own, but which are important in driving long-term innovation in the industry.”

Science and technology agency A*STAR is leading a consortium of local and global industry players to undertake R&D in new areas such as advanced robotics and nondestructive testing techniques. “This will enable the industry to grow new capabilities and enhance its value proposition for the future,” said Lee.

The airshow itself is “a key piece of our vision for the aerospace industry,” Lee concluded. “It brings together members of the aerospace community, including government officials, industry leaders and decision makers from the commercial and defense sectors to make contacts, exchange ideas and broker deals. I am confident that exhibitors and visitors will find attractive business opportunities and inject even greater dynamism into this exciting industry.”

Welcoming Lee to the event, Singapore Airshow and Events chairman Lim Ching Beng described the new show as “the most efficient place to do business on the international airshow circuit.”

He also stressed how vital had been the contribution of multiple government agencies and ministries, including the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and Defence Science and Technology Agency, which jointly own the organizing company, and in particular the Economic Development Board. “We couldn’t have achieved so much without their help,” he said.

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