Mr Gan Kim Yong
Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
Ms Low Khah Gek
Mr Christian Bauer
CCO and CFO (Interim) Volocopter Asia Holding
Distinguished Industry Partners
Ladies and Gentlemen
The need for more sustainable, carbon-neutral and environment-friendly air travel has fueled the rapid progression of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aviation.
Today, ITE is honoured and proud to be the first Institute of Higher Learning to benefit from a collaboration with Volocopter, one of the world’s forerunners in this field.
ITE College Central is also elated to welcome the VoloCity eVTOL aircraft, for making a “touch-down” onto our Aerospace Hub and we look forward to the sharing of knowledge and skills related to understanding and maintaining this marvel of technology.
The Future of Air Mobility
The first use of powered flight wasn’t to carry passengers between cities, it was to deliver mail and spray crops. The first use for Advanced, Urban Air Mobility services will also likely be for cargo delivery or emergency rescue services. Before humans will agree to be willingly transported by these new machines, aviation regulators and industrial safety experts will need to weigh in, to provide ample evidence of safe travel. However, all of these have happened before, and I’m confident that it’s only a matter of time that these approvals will be granted in multiple jurisdictions.
Given Singapore’s locational advantages and small size, much like what we have observed about traditional Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), where services and training in Singapore are not targeted merely at the domestic market, but for the entire region, it is projected that for the eVTOL application and MRO space, Singapore can provide a similar range of support functions.
This ties in very nicely with ITE’s current practice of sending our students out on selected overseas exposure and training opportunities to countries surrounding us. This will enable our students to understand how technical applications are adapted for different purposes not normally found in their home countries. Exposing our trainees to multiple use cases makes them hone their skills better to suit client needs.
With the advantages of vertical takeoff and zero carbon emission, the introduction of eVTOL air mobility aligns to Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 as well, which sets a vision to have all vehicles in the city-state to be running with cleaner and more sustainable energy. It is a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming a nation for the future.
The potential of eVTOL is vast. It offers possibilities for developments and connections for the authorities and industry players, as well as for as training providers like ITE. Apart from the earlier mentioned cargo delivery and emergency services, we have heard of applications being developed for air-taxi services and tourism.
Within the context of skills-based training and ITE, it also means opening up a plethora of opportunities to revise our training curriculum and to upskill our lecturers and graduates to be ready for whatever new requirements and regulations, that come with the operations and maintenance of these new-age flying machines.
What’s Next for Us
Earlier this year, ITE and Volocopter have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct a feasibility study for eVTOL maintenance training.
Volocopter’s engineers have already conducted training sessions for ITE lecturers to become familiar with specific disassembly and assembly protocols on the VoloCity.
Together, we will work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and industry partners to explore training and licensing programmes related to eVTOL maintenance.
We are very hopeful that through this collaboration, we are able to provide new career and development opportunities for the Singapore aviation workforce, by embracing new technologies and staying ahead with the learning curve it brings.
Most importantly, this collaboration stays aligned with Singapore’s pursuit of sustainable practices and reduced reliance on fossil fuels, a paramount step towards preserving our environment for our future generations.
The event today, and the generous partnership with Volocopter, will set the stage for the preparation of our ITE students to be ready for new professional qualifications, technologies and career opportunities in the aviation industry. We look forward to seeing the outcomes and impact we can make with this meaningful partnership. Thank you.