Message from SIAE President

Lim Yeow Khee

Dear Members, Fellow Aviation Professionals and Friends.

It’s been 14 months since this ExCo took office. We have organised many activities and held our 39th AGM on 24 Jul 2014. Although we had a quorum of 26 members to conduct the AGM, this is below the average of previous AGMs. While we recognised that the format has been changed we hope our members will try to get used to Thursday evenings instead of Sunday mornings for our AGMs. And, of course, “Seletar is very far away”.

In these 14 months, we organised the SATEC 2014 and launched two new projects – Aviation Safety Competition and Café Aeronautique. We had good participation and generous sponsorship for all the events.

The ExCo has undergone many changes, with four members co-opted to replace elected members who had resigned due to work commitment and overseas postings.

The 39th AGM on 24 Jul 2014 went well, with members approving a resolution to divest 30% of ATTC equity. In my opening address, I explained the difficulty of reaching out to members: our previous webmail host had become uncontactable. Faced with a serious financial deficit, we had to work on piecemeal patches to develop a workable solution. The website has come along quite well but most of the information in the membership database still needs updating.

Much of the discussion was centered on the ExCo’s paper on the divestment of ATTC. While the lively discussions were welcomed, the perception that the ExCo had attempted to push through the resolution with minimum opportunities for members to discuss the issue was unfortunate. To clear the air, I made an impassioned plea to members to understand the history of ATTC and the culture of SIAE.

Since 1975, when SIAE was founded, aviation in Singapore has gone through several transformations. From a single airline with an engineering base supporting turboprop aircraft and early B707 and B737 jets, Singapore has grown to be one of the biggest MRO base in the world. We have six airlines with a total of 196 aircraft, 125 SAR-145 approved maintenance companies (76 based in Singapore) and 35 SAR-21 approved design and production companies.

Such transformations require serious re-thinking about relevance and new opportunities in every corner of the industry. SIAE is not exempted. We started conducting courses in hotel function rooms with volunteer teachers in 1997 because there were no aircraft maintenance courses in Singapore. Today there are nine SAR-147 approved training organisations. All the polytechnics and ITE colleges have aerospace engineering courses.

We will need to review our role in supporting training of engineers and technicians. ExCo has reviewed ATTC operation and decided to reduce SIAE ownership to less than 50% over the next few years. It has never been SIAE’s intention to run a business. After much deliberation, it was decided that divesting 30% would be the first step. The AGM then voted 15-2 to pass the resolution to divest 30% of ATTC. An EGM will be organised to approve the transactions.

Next year, we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary. But before we move on, let us reflect on the following:

  1. How can we make ourselves more useful to industry and relevant to our members?
  2. Who are our current and future members?
  3. What is our role in context with AAIS, IES and RAeS?

Thank you all for your support. In the remaining 12 months of our mandate in the ExCo, we will push forward with our “New Direction – To build a strong aviation culture for our NGAP to grow”.

Lim Yeow Khee PBM
Hon F.SIAE, FRAeS, A/P (Adj) NTU
President, SIAE