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ST unit, partner develop better cargo handling process, win Aviation Challenge

THE CIVIL Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has said it will be working with companies who have expressed interest in developing better cargo handling processes at Changi Airport. One such process is a winning idea developed by a unit of Singapore Technologies (ST) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The team led by ST Dynamics - the advanced engineering arm of ST Engineering - took home a S$300,000 cash prize for winning CAAS's second Aviation Challenge.

First launched in 2014, The Aviation Challenge serves as a means to develop solutions to automate key segments of the cargo handling process to reduce physical strain on cargo handlers and improve productivity.

Thirteen teams submitted proposals for the second edition of the challenge where TUM CREATE Singapore joined ST Dynamics as finalists.

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The finalists were then awarded a total of S$4 million in funding to develop prototypes over a two-year period from September 2015.

CAAS said the results from the tests were encouraging "with both prototypes proving capable at reducing the workload for workers by about 30 per cent, whilst improving their contributions".

Software used on the respective prototypes also showed promise of improving work productivity while achieving better - albeit slightly - space utilisation than a cargo planner can.

"Some companies have expressed interest to follow up with the teams on the technologies that have been developed," CAAS said.

Paul Tan, ST Dynamics' vice-president of Technology Development, said: "The automated solution for cargo handling operations is a game-changer for modern airports."

"Our solution, which is jointly developed with IAI, will significantly improve cargo handling productivity and support future growth of airport operations with minimal modifications to existing infrastructure or operating processes."

CAAS director-general Kevin Shum said the prototypes had the potential to transform the cargo handling process - benefiting airlines, ground handlers and workers.

"They will support the air transport industry transformation map, aimed at raising productivity and creating better jobs for our air transport workers," he added.

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