Aviation and Aerospace to Singapore

Trends and opportunities

The market

Singapore is a major aviation hub. Singapore currently has over 130 aerospace and space-related organisations employing over 21,000 people with an industry output of over A$8 billion per annum. (Source: Singapore Economice Development Board, 11 January 2019).

Singapore is also the most comprehensive aerospace maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) hub globally and contributes 10% of total global MRO output. The service and maintenance of aircraft and aircraft component manufacturing in Singapore will continue to grow significantly.

In Singapore, aerospace manufacturing is expected to grow more rapidly than aerospace MRO in the medium to long term, and is expected to account for up to 30% by 2030 (it is currently 10%, with MRO commanding 90% of industry output). The aerospace Industry Transformation Map (ITM),(Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry: Speech 2018) launched in early 2018, details the pathway industry will take to reach this goal and enhance its capabilities in global value-add manufacturing.

Future airport handling capacities will also increase as passenger capacity is projected to grow from the present 66 million passengers to 135 million by 2030.(Source: Changi Airport Group) Changi Airport continues to build and plan new passenger terminals; Terminal 4 officially opened in October 2017, while Terminal 5 — one of the world’s largest terminals — is due to be operational in 2030. These developments will entrench Singapore’s reputation as a major global aviation hub.

Over the past 20 years, Singapore’s aerospace engineering industry has expanded at a compounded annual growth rate of 8.6%. (Source: Singapore Economice Development Board, 11 January 2019) With demand for air travel in Asia continuing to increase, due in part to rising demand from the growing middle-class populations of major regional economies, aviation related opportunities within the aerospace manufacturing, MRO, research and development, as well as general aviation and componentry distribution, are forecast to grow steadily. Indeed, one-third of all worldwide aircraft deliveries will go to Asia over the next 20 years (Source: Boeing Commercial Market Outlook 2019). As such, by 2037, the number of aircraft in Asia Pacific is anticipated to triple to approximately 16,900 wide and narrow body aircraft.

Singapore’s drive to increase its aerospace footprint in the region and continue its dominance as the premier aerospace hub has resulted in the development of the Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP).

Located on the north-eastern part of Singapore, SAP was developed as an integrated and dedicated aerospace industrial park focusing on:

  • Aerospace MRO, focusing on narrow bodied aircraft
  • Design and manufacture of aircraft systems, components, and potentially light aircraft
  • Business and general aviation activities
  • Research, education and training, housing a regional aerospace campus in support of this.

Spread over 320 hectares, SAP also provides world-class aerospace facilities equipped with fully-fledged business infrastructure and complete runway access, among other benefits.

To date, a number of multinational corporations have opened facilities, including Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Bombardier, Cessna Aircraft, Bell Helicopter, Hawker Pacific, Airbus and ST Engineering Aerospace.

It is estimated that approximately 4% of the world’s active fleet of aircraft is e-enabled today. ICF forecasts that approximately 47% of the fleet (over 18,000 aircraft) will be e-enabled by 2027.(Source: The Business Times, ‘Asian aviation reaches new heights’, 5 February 2018) As the connected fleet grows and service offerings mature, operator maintenance is increasingly benefitting from advanced big data analytics and other emerging technologies.


The Industry Transformation Map has significant focus on new and emerging technologies, and there is potential for collaboration across a variety of areas, such as industrial Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, data analytics for predictive maintenance, and asset optimisation.

Other areas of emerging technology development include complex systems (agent-based simulation and engine modelling), electrical and power systems (Next Generation power electronics, electrical systems and controls), composites repair technology, and manufacturing and MRO robotics processes.

The manufacturing of high value-add aerospace components in Singapore is a priority and is set to grow further.

Key examples of existing capability include:

  • Rolls Royce: titanium wide-chord fan blades
  • Yokogawa: cockpit LCD modules
  • Hamilton Sundstrand: Auxiliary Power Unit gearbox housing / turbine wheel
  • Thales: avionics systems e.g. flight management guidance computers
  • Singapore Jamco: gallery carts
  • Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing: majority share of the world’s CFM56 Front Compressor Case, CFM56 Forward Combustion Case
  • Honeywell center of excellence: check valves, variable bleed valves and complex milling processes

Australia has the opportunity to internationalise its key manufacturing capabilities that have arisen from major aerospace development programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter F-35A fighter program. There is an opportunity to be a key supplier into international aerospace OEM supply chains, with a significant amount of regional sourcing done from regional HQs based in Singapore.

Ideas generation in emerging technologies are also increasingly encouraged and new start-ups and in-house incubators such as Launch Bay by SIA Engineering Ltd was initiated recently to develop and test new concepts and technologies within the digital, data, cloud and technology (e.g. drones for aircraft inspections) domains. Supporting new technologies can lead to advances such as enhancing workplace safety, driving efficiencies and increasing worker productivity / throughput.

Research and development is also an opportunity for collaboration. Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) manages the R&D aerospace program. The program has three key objectives focusing on cost efficiency, collaboration and competiveness. The program has been a major success with major corporates co-investing in R&D in Singapore. Rolls Royce, for example, together with A*STAR and their SIA Engineering JV, invested up to S$60 million to set up a joint lab to develop Smart Manufacturing technologies. (Source: Association of Aerospace Industries, ‘Innovation in Aerospace: A Singapore Perspective’: Report 2018). The joint lab is a five year collaboration programme to develop next generation aerospace manufacturing, as well as MRO capabilities enabled by advanced processes, automation and digital technologies.

Marketing your products and services

Market entry

For the aerospace manufacturing sector, the minimum standards required is AS9100 revD and if certain additional processes are required e.g. heat treatment or surface coating, the NADCAP (National Aerospace & Defence Contractors Accreditation Program) is mandatory. For the MRO sector, CAAS sets the standards, which follow closely with the EASA/ FAA guidelines which cover maintenance, production and design, amongst other areas.

In particular, the basic participation and quality assurance requirements in OEMs’ supply chains include:

  • AS9100 certified
  • NADCAP (for certain processes)
  • Compliance with OEM internal approvals / requirements

As well as:

  • Proven engineering capability
  • Sufficient production capacity
  • Continuous improvement demonstration and capability
  • Effective supply chain management
  • Strong project management system

Other criteria by which vendors and suppliers will be assessed include:

  • Financially stable
  • Commitment to Long Term Agreement (LTA)
  • Strong physical logistics links
  • Inventory management
  • Integrated production / engineering support for new product introduction
  • Lean manufacturing / continuous improvement capability
  • Drive for zero defect quality

For the aerospace manufacturing sector, in view of the stringent quality assurance standards required, Austrade is working with major OEMs such as Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd, Embraer, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, to access their global value chains via the clustering of Australian aerospace accredited organisations in Singapore, and in particular, the Selatar Aerospace Park. A number of these OEMs conduct their sourcing from their regional HQ in Singapore.

All government tenders, including CAAS tenders, are normally gazetted as either a public or closed tender. To participate in a public tender, found on the Government E-Business website, vendors must be either:

  • Singapore-registered local vendors
  • Singapore-based overseas vendors
  • overseas vendors who have registered with the appropriate tendering authority that meet prescribed financial classification
  • overseas companies who are invited to tender via High Commission channels

For a closed tender, a sole source, or a select few, are eligible to bid. Invitations to vendors to ‘pre-qualify’ for major turnkey projects are also gazetted. Please visit www.gebiz.gov.sg for guidelines on government tendering procedures.

When entering the market, some of the considerations include (but are not limited to):

  • Registration with GEBIZ to pre-qualify as a government supplier for unclassified projects
  • Overseas companies can tender directly under the CSP agreement provided they meet registration / tendering criteria.
  • Success is not always determined by price
  • In-country investment is often preferred either via local partnership or establishing a subsidiary
  • Collaborate to innovate and co-create, regardless of whether you are a start-up, SME or MNC. If you have smart technologies that can improve productivity, increase workflow efficiencies safely, and is an emerging technology, Austrade will be interested to support you to access the market. regional HQs.
  • Identifying appropriate industry contacts can be a challenge. Check out the Aerospace Association of Singapore (AAIS) and their regular newsletters, or Austrade Singapore which is an active member of the association, and who works closely with AAIS and the aerospace community to raise the profile of Australia capability.
  • Austrade can assist/facilitate access to market and identify local partners.

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

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