Top News Singapore aviation workforce receives S$870m lifeline By TTG Asia / Posted on 24 February, 2021 9:38 Singapore’s Ministry of Transport will drop a S$870 million (US$659 million) lifeline to support the country’s aviation sector, as part of its 2021 Budget. This scheme, coined the OneAviation Support Package, comes on top of the existing Job Support Scheme paid out by the Singapore government. The OneAviation Support Package comprises two key components. The first will provide manpower support totalling S$330 million, comprising 30 per cent in support for wages paid from April to June 2021, and 10 per cent in support for wages paid from Jul-Sep 2021. Furthermore, an Aviation Workforce Retention Grant will dole out 50 per cent in support for wages paid to local employees from Apr-Sep 2021, capped at S$4,600 of gross monthly wages. The OneAviation Support Package provides manpower assistance as well as cost relief on airport fees, among others This is in addition to the existing Job Support Scheme, which took effect last year. Qualifying companies in the aviation sector can also receive 50 per cent in support for Jan-Mar 2021 wages, 30 per cent for Apr-Jun 2021 wages and 10 per cent for Jul-Sep 2021 wages. Manpower support also comes in the form of the Enhanced Training Support Package, which funds and subsidises employee downtime training by up to 90 per cent and has been extended to December 2021. Singapore-based airlines will also receive support to train some existing pilots to operate multiple aircraft types in anticipation of eventual recovery. The second component of the OneAviation Support Package comprises cost relief amounting to S$540 million. Existing rebates on fees and charges at Changi and Seletar Airport – such as landing and parking fees, rental for lounges and offices, as well as licence fees for ground handling and catering services – will be extended for another year. The rebate on fees payable by pilots, air traffic controllers and aircraft maintenance engineers will also be extended for another year. Singapore’s minister for transport, Ong Ye Kung, said: “Aviation is one of the hardest hit sectors during this pandemic, if not the hardest hit, as Changi and its stakeholders have lost 97.5 per cent of its customers. Yet, for a city-state like Singapore, the air hub is essential to connect us with the rest of the world and continues to be our lifeblood. This support will help Changi tide through the crisis, while we explore ways to reopen borders safely.” Deputy prime minister and finance minister Heng Swee Keat had said during his budget speech on February 16 that he expected the aviation sector to use this lull period to improve its capabilities and prepare for the recovery, particularly by investing in travel safety, reported CNA.