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Aviation, maritime also on MOT's radar: Khaw Boon Wan

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Mr Khaw noted that passenger traffic growth at Changi Airport has slowed in the last two years, while airports in the region continue to grow.

ASIDE from focusing on areas such as rail reliability and buses, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) will also pay attention to other key transport areas such as aviation and maritime, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a blogpost on Monday.

"These are significant sectors of our economy, the health of which can impact hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans," he wrote. "Their jobs and their families depend on these sectors. And there are strong headwinds and turbulence ahead."

Mr Khaw noted that passenger traffic growth at Changi Airport has slowed in the last two years, while airports in the region continue to grow.

"We have to help it get back on the path of growth," he added. He also pointed out Indonesia reportedly wants to manage the flight information region (FIR) over the airspace above the Riau Islands.

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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had approved for this airspace to be managed by Singapore to ensure flight safety as well as efficient flight operations of airlines and airports.

"This does not affect Indonesia's sovereignty. In fact, there are many examples of countries which manage their neighbours' airspace for the same safety and efficiency reasons," Mr Khaw blogged.

Meanwhile, Singapore's sea port continues to face competition from neighbouring ports. "Alternative trade routes such as the Arctic Route and the proposed Kra Canal could also result in ships bypassing Singapore," he added.

The maritime industry contributes some 7 per cent to Singapore's GDP.

Highlighting that MOT spends a lot of time and bandwidth on these critical issues, he went on to say: "This is not an excuse for the next train disruption. We are doing our best to make our rail system even more reliable. I just hope to get Singaporeans' better understanding and moral support."

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