Paris Air Show

Singapore Airshow Will See Impact of Disruptive Technologies

 - June 20, 2017, 5:02 AM
Leck Chet Lam, managing director, Experia Events, told AIN that disruptions based on technological change, security concerns and the need to achieve global efficiencies will drive future expectations and the potential for growth at the annual Singapore Airshow. The 2018 event will be held February 6-11.

As visitors to one of the world’s major aerospace events, attendees at the Paris Airshow will know that other major international airshows will also be taking place in the next 12 months; in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, November 12-16, 2017, and Singapore, February 6-11, 2018.

The Singapore Airshow, which first ran in 2008, claims to be "Asia's largest aerospace and defence event," and is once again to take place at Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore. Some 1,000 companies from 50 countries are expected to participate in the trade show, which takes place February 6-9. The show will be open to the public on the weekend of February 10-11.

Expectations are high that the disruptive technology affecting several areas of the global economy will soon have a direct impact on aviation, as air miles are consolidated, drone usage increases amid tougher regulatory oversight, and aircraft and airport technology moves into new fields.

“There are a host of forces driving change, transforming and disrupting the global aviation industry, from the need to address growing security and cybersecurity concerns, the perennial focus on achieving cost efficiencies, and most importantly, the disruptive impact of technology and innovation,” Leck Chet Lam, managing director of show organizer, Experia Events, told AIN in an exclusive interview,

“The world in which we operate is vastly different from even just a decade ago, with technology having transformed all aspects of commercial aviation and aerospace.”

Leck said he expected orders to rise in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East during the second half of 2017, citing OEM outlooks for future fleet increases. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we will continue to experience growth for the rest of this year. Deloitte, Fitch and Accenture have all projected an increase in commercial aircraft deliveries. According to Deloitte research, commercial aerospace growth will be driven by strong passenger travel demand, especially in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region.”

According to Channel NewsAsia, 11 deals were signed at the 2016 show, worth US$12.7 billion, while an additional 40 undisclosed deals also took place, it said, citing Experia. Major deals were signed by Airbus and Boeing, as well as for engine sales, MRO services and defense. Substantial new deals can be expected next year, given the optimism in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 2016 Singapore show also brought a US$235 million bonanza to Singapore’s economy through visitor spending on hotels, exhibition space, transportation, food and drink and entertainment and leisure.

Predictive maintenance is an area that will influence the industry’s future growth. “Cathay Pacific saved several hundred thousand dollars in operations and maintenance costs on a single aircraft system after successfully conducting the industry's first-ever predictive maintenance trial using its A330 fleet earlier this year. The arrival of connected aircraft will speed up demand for predictive maintenance.,” Leck said.

SIA knowledge partner, ICF International, sees MRO increasingly benefitting from advanced data analytics due to an increasingly connected global fleet with approximately 45 percent of unit numbers, or over 15,000 aircraft, becoming "e-enabled" by 2025.

Leck said the Asia-Pacific region was also leading the world in innovative areas such as additive manufacturing. "The C919 jetliner, the first passenger jet to be designed and built in China, incorporated 3D printing technologies and specialty metals like titanium alloys during the development process. Having successfully completed its maiden journey this May, IDC expects higher domestic demand for 3D printed parts for the 570 C919 units currently on order,” he said.

The Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit, which is expected to take place at the Raffles City Convention Center on February 4-5, will provide a focus for informed debate at the airshow. “SAALS is the only event of its kind in the industry that brings together high-level participants from regulators, the private sector, government and airline operators to address a wide range of hot topics including cybersecurity challenges and strategic trends,” he said.

“Jointly organized by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Experia Events, International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Singapore Ministry of Transport (MOT), the 6th edition of SAALS will focus on innovation in aviation.”

A conference and several business forums will take place at the show, including the Asia Business Forum, to address emerging technologies and the training and simulation sectors in the aerospace and defence industry. The Aerospace Emerging Technologies Business Forum will allow aviation start-ups to pitch their business ideas and opportunities to venture capitalists and other potential investors.

Experia is also working to optimize the show experience for attendees, including speeding up end-of-day departure times on dedicated airshow transportation for trade-show participants.

“Extensive plans and arrangements are being made to minimize [waiting times], while additional food and beverage options, as well as resting and other facilities, are being installed at the Changi Exhibition Centre to improve the overall experience,” Leck added.