In her strategic location, Singapore is well-positioned to benefit from the growth potential of aviation-related activities in the Asian-Pacific region. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has made it their mission to see Singapore succeed in this aspect by capitalising on this and helping her grow into a safe and vibrant air hub and aviation system.
To this end, CAAS oversees a diverse range of operations: Enabling the growth of the aviation industry; overseeing and promoting safety in the industry; providing air navigation services; and developing Singapore as a centre of excellence for aviation knowledge and human resource development.
Giving Your Passion Wings
As one would imagine, the career opportunities offered in such diverse operations are dynamic, challenging, and also extremely rewarding. Having started her career with the organisation, CAAS Scholar Tan Jiaqi can attest to this. “Working in the aviation industry will not only allow me to contribute to policies promoting Singapore’s national interest, but also attain international exposure. Aviation is a fast-growing and dynamic industry with a rapid pace of innovation and global competition. There will always be new challenges and advancements that will keep me excited.”
CAAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship
Deputy Manager (Air Traffic Management Operations Planning,
Air Traffic Services division)
Master of Arts (Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences) – Columbia University
Explaining the career development opportunities available at CAAS, the 23-year-old says, “Internal job rotations are available every two years for us to gain exposure and see a bigger picture of CAAS’ role in the aviation industry. We are also given the opportunity to work on events and projects with our colleagues from other divisions. This allows us to better understand and appreciate the different functions of our organisation. Being seconded to the Ministry of Transport, or other statutory boards is also a possibility. Officers can even be seconded to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal, Canada, or its regional offices.”
In her current capacity at the Air Traffic Management (ATM) Planning section, Jiaqi is one of the officers responsible for the planning and management of airspace utilisation within the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR), ensuring safe and efficient operation of air traffic.
To better fulfil her role in understanding the operational impact of airspace management proposals, Jiaqi is undergoing training as an Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO). “This allows me to consider aviation issues from different angles and understand the functional implications of a proposed change. It is also exciting to understand the fast-paced yet systematic and coordinated air traffic services units to ensure our aircraft fly safely and smoothly,” she says, adding, “Global air traffic is growing and about 7,200 flights depart or land from Changi Airport each week. However, this challenge of learning to manage a busy airspace is precisely what makes my current work enriching and fulfilling.”
As an organisation, CAAS is also exploring technology that can help its staff to meet the new challenges presented by the rapid evolution of the digital era. One example is a smart digital tower concept, where advanced camera and video stitching technologies will be incorporated to enable a better display of information. This will allow ATCOs to better serve the increasing demand of air traffic at Changi airport. “CAAS is also collaborating with our partners to research the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in ATM. It is envisioned that AI will enable new ATM functionalities such as collision avoidance, performance analytics, and predictive runway incursion,” Jiaqi elaborates.
In Pursuit Of Excellence
It was the CAAS spirit toward continuous improvement that motivated Jiaqi to pursue a scholarship with the organisation. “It was important that my career of choice could offer me opportunities to explore and develop knowledge across different fields. Upon further research on what CAAS could offer, I discovered that CAAS has multiple areas of responsibility as an Air Navigation Service Provider, a regulator and an industry enabler. I found these varied functions interesting, and I felt that they would keep me engaged and encourage continuous learning. This was my motivation to apply for the CAAS scholarship,” she shares.
The scholarship allowed her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Economics, followed by a Master of Arts in Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences. The data science classes she attended offered her a better understanding and appreciation of how big data is transforming the aviation industry. By using this data, insights are generated that help to create greater economic value for the aviation community, Jiaqi describes succinctly. In fact, her four years of studies in both the United Kingdom and the United States have exposed Jiaqi to various cultures and broadened her horizons. She recalls, “Unexpected situations abroad have taught me how to be more adaptable and think better on my feet. CAAS has been very supportive throughout my scholarship journey and summer internship opportunities are always readily arranged for us.”
When asked to share where she wants to go in her career with CAAS, she opens up about her ambitions to widen her knowledge on the industry. “I look forward to deepening my knowledge in the aviation sector across various fields. There are countless areas for growth and development in CAAS and by gaining a broader and more in-depth understanding of various CAAS’ roles, I hope to gain better insights to this vibrant and exciting industry and be a part of bringing Singapore’s aviation to the next level.”
Finally, to others aspiring to build a career in aviation with CAAS, Jiaqi has this to say: “A career with CAAS will be satisfying for those who relish the challenge of working in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Aspiring scholars should remain humble and continuously learn about the different aspects of aviation, ranging from the operational systems to policy planning. There is always something new to learn which is why it is important that one remains curious and eager to support continual self-growth.”