Singapore and New Zealand aviation and industry ministers sign up to sustainable ecosystem

Ministers in Singapore and New Zealand have signed a Memorandum of Arrangement (MOA) on Sustainable Aviation. The countries will work together to drive the development of a sustainable aviation ecosystem, in partnership with industry, academia and other stakeholder groups, as the global aviation sector emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement was signed by Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), the New Zealand Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The agreement was signed by Han Kok Juan, Director General, CAAS and Her Excellency Jo Tyndall, New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore, and witnessed by The Right Honorable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.

Under the MOA, Singapore and New Zealand will collaborate and share information on initiatives to advance sustainable aviation, covering four key areas, namely, (a) policy and regulation; (b) industry development; (c) future infrastructure planning and provision; and (d) workforce transformation. The collaboration will include coordinating the research and development, test bedding and trial of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), facilitating the development of secure sustainable fuels, including SAF and hydrogen, supply chains in the Asia-Pacific region and studying the scale, costs, technical and commercial viabilities of developing “green lanes” between New Zealand and Singapore to encourage the gradual uptake of SAF-operated flights by consumers.

The MOA is one of the first initiatives under the new Climate Change and Green Economy Pillar under the existing Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership. The Enhanced Partnership was established during Prime Minister Ardern’s Official Visit in 2019 covering the pillars of: (a) Trade and Economics; (b) Security and Defence; (c) Science, Technology and Innovation; and (d) People-to-People links.

Sustainability has been identified by the MOT and CAAS as a priority for the Singapore aviation sector as it re-emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic to rebuild and reclaim Singapore’s position as an international air hub with global connectivity. The CAAS is developing a Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint, which it will publish in early 2023, to set medium-term and longer-term sustainability goals and identify practical pathways to achieve them. In February 2022, CAAS set up an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to tap on the expertise of industry, technology, and knowledge leaders from Singapore and around the world. The IAP has to date held five meetings and will present its recommendations in July 2022.

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