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Singapore Aerospace Facts

9 Coolest SG Aerospace Facts That Singaporeans Can Flex About That You Probably Didn’t Know

Singapore aerospace facts

There is a special place in every Singaporean’s heart for all things aerospace, whether you know it or not. It could be the sense of pride from the country – despite its tiny geographical size – nabbing international acclaim for both our airport and national flight carrier, our love for travelling, or just that airplanes are really cool.

Here are a bunch of fascinating Singapore aerospace facts that you may not know about, which will have you beaming with even more pride. 

1. SG is internationally nicknamed “Aerospace City of the Future”

Seletar Aerospace Park Companies
Seletar Aerospace Park is a dedicated industry cluster with room to house aerospace companies of the future.
Image credit: JTC

Despite how small we are as a nation, we have one of the biggest and most diverse aerospace ecosystems in Asia. Singapore is home to over 130 aerospace companies and service providers, from globally leading MNCs to renowned homegrown aerospace players like SIA Engineering Company and ST Engineering.

In fact, we were the overall winner for all 3 editions of fDi Intelligence’s “Aerospace Cities of the Future” ranking, outperforming every other city in getting investments and being an attractive location for innovation. 

2. SG’s aerospace industry supports global sustainability efforts

Singapore Aerospace Facts - Finnair Sustainable Aviation Fuel
Sustainable aviation fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%.
Image credit: Finnair

Singapore’s aerospace industry has made strides in supporting global sustainability efforts. Some of the developments that contribute to greener skies include:

  • Adopting solar technology in aerospace facilities to generate cleaner energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Providing a conducive testbed for the use of sustainable aviation fuel, which are made from renewable materials like animal waste fat and used cooking oil.
  • Developing capabilities for aircraft electrification.

3. SG is home to global aerospace heavyweights

In school, you know you’re doing something right when all your peers are clamouring to be your project group mate. Similarly, Singapore is killing it because all the globally leading aerospace companies have their sights set on us. 

Singapore Aerospace Facts - Airbus Boeing Rolls-Royce
Not only have world-renowned aerospace giants like Airbus, Boeing, and Rolls-Royce set up in Singapore, they have also established campuses here which serve as their regional hubs. Image adapted from: Airbus, The Boeing Company via Facebook, Air Cargo Week

The proof is in the pudding: we are the regional hub for aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing. Plus, the top 3 global aero-engine companies in the world – GE Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce – have all set up operations here on our lil island.

Guess our geographical size is not a deterrent, with aerospace companies citing Singapore’s pro-business environment, skilled workforce, innovation capabilities, connectivity, and strong ecosystem among the reasons why they have decided to have their Asia-Pacific hubs here. A slay for local aerospace professionals past, present, and future. To see why global businesses choose to call Singapore home, check out the Economic Development Board’s Instagram.

4. SG manufactures & services mission-critical aerospace components

Pratt & Whitney, Thales
Engineers involved in complex MRO activities at Pratt & Whitney (left) and Thales (right).
Image adapted from: Aviation Week, Thales Group

How to tell that you’re a cut above the rest: big name companies hit you up for high-level missions. Thanks to the quality of Singapore’s workmanship, some of the most complex components in aircraft are manufactured right here.

For instance, engine components and avionics. In fact, we are the lead manufacturing location for titanium fan blades used in new generation aero-engines for large passenger planes like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. See, it even sounds ridiculously cheem

Singapore Aerospace Facts - Safran
Aerospace manufacturing and servicing at Safran.
Image adapted from: Safran Landing Systems Services Singapore, Safran Group

You’d also be surprised to find out that companies from around the world send their aircraft and engines here just for them to be serviced. This is part of aerospace MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul), a process which is critical to the operational safety of aircraft and ensures that you can get from point A to point B smoothly. Cue the Smooth Operator song, indeed.

Pratt & Whitney, ST Engineering
Pratt & Whitney’s engine MRO expansion (left) and ST Engineering’s new green and smart facility (right) – new additions to our growing manufacturing and MRO landscape.
Image adapted from: Association of Aerospace Industries via LinkedIn, Flight Global

Our manufacturing and MRO landscape is only going to become more vibrant and high-tech. Here are some new developments as we speak.

  • Pratt & Whitney, a global top aero-engine company: expanding its Singapore MRO capacity for aero-engines by a whopping two-thirds.
  • ST Engineering, the largest independent airframe MRO company in the world: opening a brand-new facility incorporating green and smart technology features at Changi Airport.

Make sure to follow the Economic Development Board LinkedIn page to get the latest updates on the aerospace industry.

5. SG’s aerospace industry accounts for 10% of global MRO output

Singapore Airlines SIA Engineering Company
Image adapted from: SIA Engineering Company

In 2022, Singapore’s aerospace industry output, including manufacturing and MRO, grew 25% year-on-year to support the recovery in global air travel, reaching $13.1 billion. Sure, that sounds like a huge amount of money. But to give you a gauge of just how impactful our aerospace industry is, just know that it contributed to a whopping 10% of the global MRO output.

On top of that, Singapore’s aerospace industry output continued to grow at 16% year-on-year in 2023, and the skies ahead are looking bright.

6. SG is home to a strong aerospace R&D and innovation ecosystem

GE Aerospace Loyang
GE Aerospace’s Loyang facility is the first MRO facility worldwide that has been approved to use metal additive manufacturing for commercial aircraft engine component repairs.
Image credit: Flight Global

Big-shot aerospace companies like Collins Aerospace, GE Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce have set up R&D centres here to develop and deploy manufacturing & MRO technologies. 

Plus, in 2022, GE Aerospace’s Singapore facility became the world’s first in using metal additive technology to fix engine parts – making customisation for complex repairs a breeze and cutting repair time in half.

Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC)
The Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) fosters collaborations between leading aerospace players and local SMEs, enabling innovation from research to application.
Image credits: AAIS

Our local unis and research institutes under A*STAR also boast some next-level aerospace research capabilities and facilities. Think wind tunnel facilities, fancy advanced materials labs, robotics, and additive manufacturing expertise.

All these developments mean that you can expect an exciting career in aerospace, working on and alongside technologies such as additive manufacturing, robotics, and the industrial internet of things. Who knows, maybe your true calling is to become a big-shot scientist or engineer to develop the next big thing in aerospace tech!

7. SG has a dedicated neighbourhood for aerospace companies

Most of us only know Seletar as a place with fancy eateries and lookout points to see planes take off, or see Seletar Airport as an alternative to Changi Airport for flights to KL. In reality, the space is also home to Seletar Aerospace Park, a vibrant aerospace ecosystem consisting of MNCs, large local enterprises, and SMEs. 

Singapore Aerospace Facts - Seletar Aerospace Park
Image credit: JTC

It’s called an industry cluster – much like the business and financial districts we’re well familiar with – except for aerospace companies. These firms not only undertake manufacturing and MRO, but also training, research, and other engineering operations. Imagine the flow of knowledge that is made possible given the concentration of aerospace companies in a single location.

Fun fact: the process of developing the former Seletar Air Base into a modern facility was quite the feat. For example, the Singapore Armed Forces had to be called in to clear bomb relics.

Singapore Aerospace Facts - Bombardier
Seletar Aerospace Park also houses Bombardier’s largest MRO facility in the Asia-Pacific.
Image credit: Korea Biz Wire

Another powerhouse which has set up shop in Seletar Aerospace Park is Bombardier, which quadrupled the size of their aviation facility in Singapore. The new facility has spaces dedicated to all things aerospace – from airframe and engines to painting and interior refurbishment – and services business jets in the region.

8. Aerospace students in SG get hands-on experience with actual aircraft

Aerospace Students Polytechnic
The learning spaces simulate airplane hangars, replicating the real-world environment of your future workplace. Office cubicle, who?
Image credit: Temasek Polytechnic

Tinkering around with planes is a dream job that many people have had since childhood. Since it’s rooted in STEM disciplines, you may think that choosing this field of study means rote theory learning all day, every day; and that you won’t get to even come close to an actual airplane engine till you do land a job in the industry.

Major bragging rights for current students and alumni: our polytechnics and ITE offering aerospace courses have actual aircraft and facilities that allow you to get hands-on experience with the very systems you’ll be working on at your eventual job. Imagine being asked what your FYP (Final Year Project, not For You Page) is and answering, “Oh no biggie, just fixing an actual plane engine!”.

Aerospace Students VR Simulations
Image credit: Singapore Polytechnic

Besides the hands-on experience, these schools also have virtual learning through immersive 360° VR simulations. Talk about taking e-learning to the next level.

Guess what? Almost 2,000 students graduate from aerospace-related programmes every year. Locals also find aerospace very attractive – for every 10 jobs in our aerospace industry, 7 are taken on by locals!

9. SG’s airshow is recognised as the most influential in Asia

If you love the aerial display segment in every NDP, you’re gonna have a ball at this full-fledged exhibition. Debuted in 2008, this public event sees industry peeps showcasing the latest and greatest in aerospace and aviation tech.

Attendees get to marvel at the soaring exhibits, get up-close with actual engineering masterpieces, and find out more about the thrilling field that is a dream career for many. Mark your calendars,
Singapore Airshow 2024 is open to the public on 24th and 25th February

Singapore Airshow
Image credit: MINDEF

It’s quite the astonishing feat for Singapore’s airshow to be recognised as the most influential in Asia, drawing a crowd of more than 100,000 trade and public visitors from around the world in 2018, before the pandemic hit. A similar turnout is expected for Singapore Airshow’s upcoming 2024 edition. 

Beyond the cool exhibits that folks get to enjoy, industry insiders also look to the Singapore Airshow as a congregation of the brightest in the biz. Think of it as the premier event to forge alliances and collaborate to achieve even more remarkable wins in all things aerospace.

Let your career take flight in the aerospace industry

We’ve waxed lyrical about Singapore’s aerospace industry long enough. By now, it’s clear that working in this field is equal parts exciting, rewarding, and boundless in terms of continuous evolution. When people wish you a career that soars to great heights, you can take it literally with a job in aerospace.

ITE Airplane Hangar
Image credit: ITE College Central

For existing tertiary students who are living their best life studying their dream course, be very excited for all the opportunities coming your way. If you’re still in secondary school, don’t be jealous of your seniors. Local polytechnics and ITE have various aerospace engineering, tech, and avionics courses awaiting your entry.

If you’re curious about prospects in the aerospace industry, check out the MyCareersFuture Industry Salary Guide.

Singapore Aero Engine Services
Image credit: Singapore Aero Engine Services via Facebook

Already embarked on your career path but curious to explore aerospace? The good news is, it’s not a die-die must-have to have an aerospace background. Mid-careerists with a background in tech and engineering would gain a leg-up as their skills are highly transferable. 

Singaporeans also get to benefit from aerospace training programmes developed by SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore. So whether you’re looking to kickstart or convert your career into the meaningful field of aerospace, we have plenty of opportunities and resources here in Singapore. Chalk that up as yet another flex!

Find out more about careers in Singapore’s aerospace industry

This post was brought to you by the Economic Development Board.
Cover image adapted from: MINDEF, Temasek Polytechnic