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Edmund Cheng to replace Lee Hsien Yang as CAAS chairman

LEE Hsien Yang will step down as chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) after nine years at the helm, with deputy chairman Edmund Cheng to take over from July 1.

Mr Cheng - who has been CAAS’ deputy chairman since Dec 1, 2016 as part of succession planning - is the chairman of Mapletree Investments, and the Singapore Art Museum, as well as the deputy chairman of Wing Tai Holdings.

His previous roles include chairman of SATS, chairman of the Singapore Tourism Board and chairman of the National Arts Council.

Mr Cheng has also served on the boards of the former Construction Industry Development Board, the Urban and Redevelopment Authority and Singapore Airlines. In 2010, he was awarded the Public Service Star (Bar), and later in 2015, the Meritorious Service Medal.

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In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Transport (MOT), said: “Mr Cheng’s strong private and public sector board experience will greatly benefit CAAS’s mission to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system.”

MOT also highlighted its appreciation to Mr Lee for his years of service to the CAAS. After the corporatisation of Changi Airport, Mr Lee was appointed the first chairman of the board of the reconstituted CAAS on July 1, 2009.

MOT noted that under Mr Lee’s tenure as chairman, Singapore has developed as an aviation hub, with over 7,200 weekly flights connecting the city-state to 400 cities worldwide today.

Since 2008, passenger and airfreight traffic have expanded by 65 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, while air cargo throughput surpassed two million tonnes for the first time last year, hitting 2.13 million tonnes.

Under his helm, the CAAS has also embarked on several initiatives such as the modernisation of the aviation safety regime, the masterplanning for Changi East, establishing Singapore as a Centre of Excellence in air traffic management and creating a new unmanned aerial system regulatory framework.