Singapore. In its ongoing efforts to bolster aviation safety, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has published new rules to improve the tracking of Singapore-registered aircraft. The new rules will apply to all Singapore air operators operating passenger aircraft of more than 27,000 kg and carrying more than 19 passengers, as well as cargo aircraft of more than 45,500 kg. These aircraft will be required to establish tracking capabilities that would enable the airlines to know the location of their aircraft at least every 15 minutes, throughout the entire duration of the flight.
CAAS will work closely with Singapore air operators to manage the transition to these new rules. From July 1, 2016 onwards, airlines will be required to track their aircraft either manually or automatically. From November 8, 2018 onwards, only automatic tracking will be permitted.
Airbus’ A320neo Family Dominates Single-aisle World Market Share in 2015
The market is overwhelmingly choosing the A320neo Family which has reached a market share of 68 per cent in 2015 – with only 32 per cent controlled by the 737 MAX. In fact, over 500 A320neo aircraft have been ordered by Indian carriers, helping Airbus establish an 80 per cent market share of all recent aircraft orders. In fact, the largest member of the A320neo Family, the A321neo, has no competition at all – it completely dominates the large single-aisle market (around 200 seats) and it offers a range of up to 4,000nm. Airlines prefer the A320neo family’s better fuel efficiency, economics, its cockpit & fly-by-wire commonality with other Airbuses, and the best cabin comfort in any single-aisle family.
They also like the A320’s correctly proportioned landing gear which allows the aircraft to sit higher off the ground than the 737, which enables an optimum engine fan-diameter – so its engines are more fuel efficient than the Max’s. And as a result we are significantly better than the Max in terms of overall economics. For example, the A320neo enjoys an 8 per cent lower fuel burn per seat than the 737 MAX 8. And for the A319neo and A321neo the differences are even greater – i.e. around 14 per cent better fuel burn per seat than the MAX 7 and MAX 9, respectively. The A320 also has the widest cabin of any single-aisle airliner on the market (seven-inch advantage over the 737), offering unmatched comfort with 18” seats standard. While carriers in a high-frequency operation can also use the wider fuselage to offer wider aisles that allow their passengers to board and disembark quicker, thus helping airlines minimise their ground turnaround times.
This move is consistent with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) plans to require a 15-minute standard for normal flight tracking1 by November 2018. Also, we will impose this requirement on our airlines flying over any area, which is more comprehensive than the ICAO requirement which is only for aircraft flying over oceanic areas.
Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum, said, “The safety of the travelling public is always our priority. CAAS has worked closely with the industry to advance the implementation of the latest rules on enhanced aircraft tracking. When fully implemented, our airlines will have added assurance of the whereabouts and safety of their aircraft operations throughout their network.”
Local airlines have expressed their support for the move. Singapore Airlines Acting Senior Vice President Flight Operations, Captain CE Quay, said, “We are supportive of the efforts to improve flight tracking capabilities. Singapore Airlines is already in compliance with CAAS’ new rules, as we have enhanced flight tracking capabilities that give us detailed oversight of our global flight operations.”
Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tigerair Singapore, Mr Ho Yuen Sang, added, “We have been working closely with CAAS in order to achieve the highest level of surveillance and tracking for our aircraft. We are confident that these industry-leading regulations represent a significant step forward in aviation safety which is our top priority.”