Preview: Press Conference – Singapore Airshow 2020
The biennial Singapore Airshow, Asia’s largest and most influential international aerospace and defence event, returns to the Changi Exhibition Centre from 11th to 16th February 2020, with an expected 45,000 trade attendees and over 930 participating companies from more than 45 countries.
In this edition, the Singapore Pavilion, organised by the Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore), presents an expanded pool of more than 20 aerospace small and medium enterprises. Almost half of these companies are participating at the Singapore Airshow for the very first time, encouraged by the wider range of space options under a new concept pavilion.
Editor’s note: While the DORSCON has been raised to orange, upon reaching the airshow grounds, we realised how organisers have put in place every effort and measure possible to ensure both exhibitors’ and guests’ safety. Certainly, as aware as we are that the coronavirus situation is dangerous, it was evident that everyone also wanted the airshow to be a success, from the stringent security and health checks before entry and the enhanced hygiene measures. There’s a strong level of trust from us leaving our safety in their hands, and with a little patience and understanding, the airshow certainly still makes for a strong display, and the virus is no deterrent to a successful show.
The Singapore Pavilion will provide a glimpse of the diverse and comprehensive range of
competencies across Singapore’s aerospace ecosystem. Many of the SMEs are making their mark in the businesses of aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and
manufacturing. Capabilities that will be showcased include parts design and advanced
manufacturing, surface treatment and special processes, aircraft ground services, logistics, digital solutions and others.
Technology and innovation continues to take centre-stage at the Singapore Airshow 2020, which will present advances in areas ranging from electric, hybrid and unmanned craft, to data analytics, AI, and the digitalisation of MRO services. Visitors will be challenged with new concepts from disruptive technologies including autonomous flight systems and hybrid or electric propulsion technologies from new-comers such as Equatorial Space Industries, Smartflyer and established firms like Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Thales.
Tapping on the potential resulting from the aviation industry’s transformation, the second edition of What’s Next @ Singapore Airshow will present an expanded pool of over 60 companies from 10 countries who will be pitching revolutionary technologies that promise to disrupt, and potentially transform the face of the aerospace sector. Budding start-ups of less than five years of established operations – including CargoAI, NEO Aeronautics, Foresky, Silver Wings, Transkinect – will be vying for potential customers and partners. New to this edition is the participation of corporate accelerators such as Airbus BizLab and SIA KrisLab who will be showcasing their stable of start-ups and innovations.
“Singapore Airshow has grown in influence in facilitating the transformation of Asia Pacific’s aviation industry,” said Mr Leck Chet Lam, Managing Director of Experia Events Pte Ltd, organiser of Singapore Airshow 2020. “It is a powerful marketplace where the industry’s leaders meet for strategic dialogues, innovators share ideas, and stakeholders network and collaborate to drive the industry forward,” he added.
“With so many business opportunities in the year to come, we have a number of key thrusts for this year’s edition,” he continues. “The first is to act as a platform to create strategic conversations, to set a direction and figure out the issues we face, and for global business leaders to network, forge partnerships and leverage on the opportunities available. We also want to promote innovation, and for guests to find new creative solutions in the aviation industry. We also want to draw from growth in the region and to push the industry further with new talent, and support growth that has been forecast.”
“All of this will be done via business forums, innovation forums, tech forums and leadership forums, touching on new developments in the industry. In general, we are seeing a greater move towards digitalisation in the industry as we discuss topics like blockchain or urban air mobility.”
The business forum – “Next Generation MRO in a Digital World” – will continue to challenge leaders and push the envelope, while in sharing a common mission of technology innovation in the global aviation industry, the Singapore Aerospace Technology and Leadership Forum (SATLF) 2020 will explore themes of “Digital Aviation and Aerospace Sustainability”. Eminent speakers from leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of commercial aircraft, engines and components, as well as aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies, will share their insights on the directions of research and development in the aerospace industry in this edition of SATFL 2020.
Visitors to Singapore Airshow 2020 can also look forward to a total of five flying display performances from three countries. Participating for the first time are China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aerobatics team Ba Yi, the United States Marine Corps’ F- 35B Joint Strike Fighter, and the United States Pacific Air Forces’ F-22 Raptor. The line-up also include the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s aerial display team of an F-15SG fighter jet and two AH-64D attack helicopters, and a flyover by the United States Air Force’s B-52 Stratofortress on 15th February.
Held in conjunction with the Education Days on 13th and 14th February 2020, the 3rd edition of the Singapore Airshow Aero Campus (SAAC) returns with information booths, workshops and career talks, supported by the Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore) (AAIS), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Economic Development Board (EDB) and Workforce Singapore (WSG). This edition, to encourage the recruitment of Singaporeans into aviation companies, WSG has started an initiative to match jobseekers looking for a mid-career change with companies such as ATR, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and SIA Engineering to explore job opportunities through meeting with human resource representatives at SAAC on 14th February 2020.
In partnership with Kallman Worldwide Inc., Singapore Airshow also launched the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Space Camp Challenge 2020, an initiative that aims to foster greater international understanding and cooperation, and inspire the next generation of innovators, explorers, and leaders in the global aerospace community. Open to all secondary schools in Singapore to students aged between 15 to 18 years old, the winning team of four Singapore students and one teacher chaperone will be fully sponsored to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, USA, from 16 to 21 August 2020. The winning team will be presented with the award at the US Pavilion on 12 February 2020.
In response to the Ministry of Health’s announcement to raise Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) to Orange, Experia Events, organiser of the Singapore Airshow 2020, announced seat tagging for seated events. At DORSCON Yellow, Experia Events is already prepared with enhanced cleaning and refuse management to maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness, hand sanitisers for attendees, deployment of a team of doctors and medics to attend to visitors who are feeling unwell and mandatory temperature screenings at access points at Singapore Expo and CEC.
Says Mr Leck: “Since the outbreak of 2019-nCoV, the Singapore government is already working with various stakeholders such as airports, hotels, business events community and attractions to ensure that there are protocols and processes to step up vigilance and cleaning and sanitisation regimens. At DORSCON Yellow, Experia Events is already implementing many of the measures required in DORSCON Orange. Stepping up with seat tagging will support the government’s overall contact tracing process, for the well-being and safety of all attendees at the Singapore Airshow 2020.”
Mr Andrew Phua, Director, Exhibitions and Conferences, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), says: “STB is working closely with Experia Events and other government agencies to provide continued support to the Singapore Airshow 2020, in light of the current DORSCON Orange. We encourage delegates and exhibitors to look out for one another, remain vigilant, adopt good personal hygiene practices and monitor their health closely. The safety of locals, visitors and our industry partners is our top priority.”
Singapore’s recent travel restrictions and stricter company policies on non-essential employee travel during this period have resulted in the withdrawal of approximately 8% of overall participating companies. The presence of key industry players including ATR, Airbus, Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, ST Engineering and Thales underscore the strategic significance of the Singapore Airshow among businesses who are seeking to expand and grow in Asia Pacific. Familiar exhibitors include AAR, Airbus, Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Jet Aviation, Leonardo, Mitsubishi Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, SIA Engineering, ST Engineering and Thales while first-timers include Japan’s Subaru, Nagano Techno Foundation, Fukuoka Aircraft Industry Network and the Shimane Industrial Promotion Foundation, as well as Australia’s Andrew Engineering, Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage and Verseng Group. Another perennial favourite is the Changi Airport Group, who will be presenting an interactive trampoline game that takes one on an adventure through the airport’s main attractions.
Says Mr Tan Kong Hwee, Assistant Managing Director of the Economic Development Board: “We predicts growth of about 10% in spite of the issues faced, and with the air show, we hope to continue driving competitiveness and development in the industry. We hope to move into greater digitalisation, with more automation in factories, higher industry growth from innovation, and learning how to assist companies with diverse needs, from adapting to new processes with new technology, to finding new collaboration models. We also intend to develop capability with programmes such as SIA Engineering’s 8 month integrated work-study programme with the Singapore Institute of Technology’s Aircraft System Engineering Course. Despite 2019’s economic downturn, we believe that the future for aerospace is still very bright in Asia-Pacific, and we’re looking forward to seeing a rise in travellers in the region thanks to a rising middle class.”
In support of the global movement towards mitigating the effects of climate change, Singapore Airshow 2020 will also be held under a fully solar-panelled roof for the first time in its history. The total of over 15,000 solar panels that were fully installed on the roof of Changi Exhibition Centre produce almost 8,000 megawatt hours of power annually, providing renewable energy to power the Singapore Airshow 2020.