CAAS Launches Productivity Initiatives

CAAS InitiativesThe Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has launched two new initiatives designed to allow Singapore Changi airport to keep pace with its continuing strong growth.
The initiatives, named the Passenger Self-Service Adoption Programme (PSAP) and Aviation Problem Based Challenge (APBC) focus upon key airport processes, labour productivity and operational efficiency.
With the PSAP programme, in collaboration with the Changi Airport Group (CAG) and what CAAS describes as: “the airport community,” CAAS aims to encourage airlines to participate in providing self-service check-in and bagdrop services for passengers departing from Changi Airport.   It says the airport community stands to benefit from the automation of these processes: “through improved labour productivity and the reallocation of manpower to deal with more complex service requests.”
Through the self-service facilities, passengers can perform the check-in function online, via mobile applications or at mobile kiosks at the airport, as well as print boarding passes and baggage tags at the kiosks, without the need for assistance by passenger service agents at check-in counters.
CAG has announced that it will cover the cost of installing the mobile kiosks at Changi Airport. CAAS has allocated a budget of S$2 million from June 1, 2013 to March 31, 2015 to incentivise airlines to move to self-service check-in and bag-drop under the PSAP.  The funding will go towards defraying some of the costs that airlines will incur in implementing the self-service, such as the development of software and related consultancy services, purchase or lease of related equipment, and development of online and mobile check-in applications.
Mr Ho Yuen Sang, Managing Director, Tiger Airways, said, “The PSAP is a step forward in making pre-flight procedures more convenient and seamless for passengers departing Changi Airport.  PSAP will help Tiger Airways increase our operational efficiencies, and enable us to channel our resources towards other ground operations to better serve our customers.”
CAAS says the second initiative, the Aviation Problem-Based Challenge (APC) is being launched to: “challenge the industry and relevant stakeholders to develop innovative solutions for the long-term development and sustainability of the industry.”  CAAS explained the APC will be a competition-based programme that will: “tap on the collective knowledge and expertise of the industry and academia to find means and ways to address identified problem statements.”
The first challenge under the APC is to develop automated equipment and processes to improve the loading and unloading of baggage onto narrow body aircraft, which is a labour-intensive process.  CAAS is inviting proposals to develop working prototypes or proofs-of-concept for the complete automation of this process.  A budget of S$10 million has been set-up to fund shortlisted proposals.  The winning concept will also receive a cash prize of S$500,000 and additional support for the actual implementation of the solution.
Mr Foo Sek Min, Executive Vice President (Corporate), CAG, said: “The APC encourages innovation and collaboration and CAG will certainly look for ways to tap it to improve productivity at Changi Airport.  We hope that the funding aspect of APC would also encourage smaller industry players and academia, perhaps constrained by resources, to come forward with good ideas that will benefit the air hub.”
The new initiatives by CAAS were announced by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, at the annual Aviation Community Reception (ACR) organised and hosted by CAAS on May 14.  At the ACR, CAAS also unveiled a new Singapore aviation brand – Singapore, Heart of Aviation – to further promote Singapore as an aviation hub of choice.