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Singapore Airshow 2018: Iata opens new regional office; signs deal to establish analytics research facility with CAAS

THE International Air Transport Association (Iata) is growing its footprint in Singapore with the opening of its new regional office, and its collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to establish a research facility that uses predictive analytics to improve aviation safety.

With the move to its new Asia-Pacific Regional Office at Mapletree Business City, Iata will have the capacity to accommodate 40 per cent more employees in Singapore, including a Global Delivery Center, the international trade association for the airlines said in a media statement on Wednesday.

Iata's Global Delivery Centers are located in three other locations - Beijing, Madrid and Montreal - and consolidate the back office functions for the association's financial settlement systems. Some 23 new jobs have been added as a result of setting up the centre in Singapore, Iata added.

Said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata's director general and chief executive officer during the inauguration: "From a small office in 1969, today Singapore is one of five regional offices and is our headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region. All of Iata's activities and services to its members and stakeholders are represented in this office. We currently have over 150 employees and we are adding more resources."

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Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan was present at the opening.

The association also signed a memorandum of collaboration (MOC) with the CAAS to establish The Global Safety Predictive Analytics Research Center (SPARC).

The facility will use predictive analytics to identify potential aviation safety hazards and assess related risks by leveraging Singapore's research capabilities, and operational flight data and safety information available under Iata's Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) initiative, the CAAS said on Wednesday. This data management platform integrates de-identified operational data received from multiple sources including direct user reports and digital flight data.

Said Iata: "End users across the aviation community can then work collaboratively at the system level to address and implement appropriate safety measures to mitigate the risks, or even to prevent the occurrences of safety hazards."

The MOC was signed by Mr de Juniac and Kevin Shum, director-general of the CAAS.

Mr de Juniac noted that while the number of aviation-related accidents has been declining, there is still a need to "take a system-based, data-driven, predictive approach to preventing accidents, including analysing the more than 10,000 flights that operate safely every day".

Said Mr Shum: "The establishment of SPARC in Singapore is especially timely given the anticipated doubling of air traffic in the Asia-Pacific by 2036. SPARC's predictive data analytics capabilities will help the aviation sector in Asia-Pacific better anticipate, prioritise and address safety issues more effectively."

"CAAS and Iata have developed a strong partnership over the years. Together, we continue to work closely with the aviation community to enhance safety and facilitate sustainable aviation growth," he added.

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