The future of flight is here in Singapore. Airbus, a global leader in the aerospace industry, is
tapping the city’s position as a leading centre of excellence in aeronautical research to explore disruptive technologies that could transform the future of the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry, urban logistics, and more.
- The Hangar of the Future
Launched in 2016, Hangar of the Future brings together Airbus experts and Singapore researchers to study new technologies that can improve the efficiency and productivity of MRO operations. For example, the project team is studying the feasibility of scanning an aircraft for damage as it rolls into a hangar. Once the data is analysed, a 3D printer can create a spare part on the spot if one is needed. Not only is this more efficient, the single 3D-printed component can be more durable than a piece assembled with multiple parts. Other possible innovations include integrating drones, wearable technology, RFID technology and predictive maintenance to identify aircraft defects, perform repairs, access information, collect and store data, and track parts and tools more efficiently.
Until recently, using drones to deliver parcels right to your doorstep was considered a flight of fancy. That could soon become a reality through Airbus’ Skyways project, which the company has undertaken in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and in collaboration with logistics partner Singapore Post. The project aims to develop a safe and economically viable aerial unmanned parcel delivery system for use in urban environments, with an initial trial phase planned at the National University of Singapore by early-2018.
Airbus in Singapore
These collaborative projects are built on the strong foundation that Airbus has established in Singapore over the last four decades. The company has sold more than 600 civil passenger aircraft to Singapore-based airlines and leasing companies, making the country a key customer base in the region. Airbus also supplies Super Puma military helicopters to the Singapore Armed Forces, and has won an order from the Republic of Singapore Air Force for the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). Airbus also has strong partnerships with Singapore’s space industry, home-grown aerospace firms such as SIA Engineering Company and ST Engineering, local universities, and research agencies.
The company has also a number of locally-incorporated subsidiaries focusing on regional customer support, maintenance and training. These include the Airbus Asia Training Centre, which will be the largest Airbus flight crew training facility in the world with eight full-flight simulators when fully operational around 2019. Sourcing activities are also growing in Singapore with the procurement of aircraft services, cabin and engine parts, systems and equipment through various suppliers. Revenues generated from Airbus operations and the company’s supply chain have now reached almost S$1 billion a year.