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Airspaces need to be better integrated for greater efficiency, safety: Khaw Boon Wan

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Governments need to make sure safety is not compromised as skies grow more crowded, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

GOVERNMENTS need to make sure safety is not compromised as skies grow more crowded, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

He was speaking at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit on Monday morning.

Air travel in Asean is expected to grow at 6.5 per cent over the next 20 years, outstripping the global average growth of 4.9 per cent.

This could place some strain on existing infrastructure and air navigation service providers (ANSPs).

In addition, "ANSPs should have sight of upstream traffic and coordinate with upstream ANSPs in order to optimise the overall flow of traffic. We need our airspaces to be better integrated so air traffic can overall be more efficiently managed and safety can be enhanced even as our skies become more crowded", continued Mr Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure.

Collaborative decision-making in air traffic management will be implemented soon between major city pairs, such as Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

The European Union (EU) and Asean are also exploring a comprehensive air transport agreement following the EU-Asean Aviation Summit at the 2014 airshow.

This would allow both European and the region's carriers to access the growing market for travel between the two regions, which boast a combined market of over a billion people.

Mr Khaw also stressed that air services need to be further liberalised, as greater competition among air hubs and airlines will benefit both passengers and economies.