Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
Features | Aviation

Triumphing Over The Skies

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) plays a key role in the ever-changing landscape of the aviation industry – it strives to develop Singapore into a leader in civil aviation and a global air hub.

In this day and age, there is an increased need for interconnectivity. People travel back and forth between countries, products cross the oceans to reach our hands, and businesses function without borders. In order to meet the demands of an increasingly globalised world, aviation has become a necessity.

CAAS understands these growing needs. It knows that the aviation industry in Singapore has to continually evolve and improve in order for us to thrive in this economy. As such, it works to foster the development of Singapore as a global air hub, turning Singapore into a city that connects the world.

To this end, the CAAS Scholarship aims to develop a strong core of bright and passionate individuals who desire to make a difference in Singapore’s aviation industry. One such individual is CAAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholar Chan Ki Wan. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Sociology at the University of Oxford, after having completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University College London (UCL). She tells us more about the exciting future that aspiring CAAS Scholars can look forward to.

Wish Fulfilment

When she came across the CAAS Scholarship booth at a scholarship fair, a spark of intrigue was ignited in her heart. She was driven to find out more about how she could be part of the civil aviation industry of Singapore. She explains, “For the longest time, air crash investigations have intrigued me. I’ve just always been interested in studying the human factors surrounding errors that, if avoided, could have prevented disaster.”

"The CAAS Scholarship was one of the few scholarships that gave me the freedom to pursue a degree that I was truly passionate about"

After reviewing the details of the scholarship, her intrigue turned into determination. She knew that if she joined the organisation, she could make a significant difference in the lives of many. She tells us, “Although CAAS does not handle air crash investigations directly, working in the organisation gives me the opportunity to contribute to the aviation industry – this allows me to be an integral part of building a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system.”

Another appealing factor of the CAAS Scholarship is the freedom that CAAS gives its scholars. For Ki Wan, this sealed the deal. “I love Psychology; I wanted to learn more about the human mind and how it functions in different settings. The CAAS Scholarship was one of the few scholarships that gave me the freedom to pursue a degree that I was truly passionate about,” she reveals.

She continues, “Also, the CAAS scholarship is part of the Beacon Scholarship – an umbrella talent development programme by the Ministry of Transport. With this programme, scholars can look forward to the prospect of meaningful careers in the Ministry and its agencies through potential inter-agency postings.”

Endowing Excellence

With the CAAS Scholarship sponsoring her studies, Ki Wan made the most of her time studying in London. While completing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UCL, she joined the school’s Make-Up Artistry Society and took on the role of President. “Make-up has allowed me to express myself artistically, with the face serving as my canvas,” she explains.

She adds, “In addition to collaborating with performing arts societies and pioneering partnerships with renowned cosmetic brands such as Illamasqua, I also founded the volunteering campaign – Give and Make Up @ UCL. Together with Caroline Hirons – a renowned UK skincare expert – this campaign aimed to collect and donate beauty items to women who were victims of domestic violence.”

Chan Ki Wan
CAAS Overseas
Undergraduate Scholar

Master of Science in Sociology,
University of Oxford, UK

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in
Psychology, University College London, UK

Ki Wan also had the opportunity to complete three internships with CAAS during her summer holidays. She claims that the best thing about her internships with CAAS was how empowered the interns were. She recalls, “As an intern, I was given ample opportunities in each division to make impactful contributions – for instance, at Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA), I conducted ground research which led to a collaboration policy and framework.”

Another thing that Ki Wan is grateful for is the life-changing experience that the CAAS Scholarship has provided her with. She recounts, “CAAS gave me the chance to interview Dr. Jarnail Singh, Chairman of The Civil Aviation Medical Board. This interview had such a big impact on me as it steered the direction of my Master’s thesis. I aim to investigate the stressors and social support networks of Air Traffic Control Officers. If all goes well, my research would contribute to the finalisation of an offi cial Occupational Stressor Index for these Air Traffic Control Officers. This is a huge opportunity, especially since it is done in collaboration with researchers from Karolinska Institutet – one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious medical universities.”

Reaching Greater Heights

When asked what she saw in the future of Singapore’s aviation industry, Ki Wan succinctly states, “Despite being a small country, we are a well-respected contender in the global aviation arena, with our national airline carrier and airport consistently being nominated among the world’s best. With CAAS’s efforts in advancing the aviation industry, I envision that Singapore will continue to have worldwide recognition as a leader in aviation safety, security, reliability, and efficiency.”

"With a multitude of divisions, the possibilities and career prospects within CAAS are endless."

Ki Wan feels that her experience in the field of social sciences will contribute greatly to her future in CAAS. “As a result of the extensive amount of scientific research I had to conduct in both Psychology and Sociology, I have honed my skills in critically analysing evidence. For policy-making in the aviation industry – where a small hitch could mean a massive difference – skills like evaluating logical flaws in arguments and paying close attention to detail are crucial,” she asserts.

The road ahead looks bright for Ki Wan as she ventures forward with anticipation and enthusiasm. She concludes with advice for aspiring CAAS Scholars, saying, “The aviation industry is not reserved only for engineers and aviation experts. With a multitude of divisions, the possibilities and career prospects within CAAS are endless. There may be a steep learning curve because of all the technicalities inherent to the industry though, so remain open-minded and show that you are ready to learn.”