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Important for government, industry leaders to work together on quarantine-free air travel: Iswaran at ICAO conference

Important for government, industry leaders to work together on quarantine-free air travel: Iswaran at ICAO conference

A plane flying past the sunrise on its way to Changi Airport on Sep 10, 2021. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: It is important for government and industry leaders to work together to rebuild public confidence, and reopen borders with safe quarantine-free air travel, said Transport Minister S Iswaran on Tuesday (Oct 12).

Speaking at the virtual International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) High-Level Conference on COVID-19, Mr Iswaran outlined how Singapore has done so “though an evidence-based, risk-adjusted approach”. 

With 85 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, Singapore has launched quarantine-free vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) to 11 countries in Asia, Europe and North America. Singapore’s VTL with South Korea is also the first between two major Asian aviation hubs, Mr Iswaran said. 

“We aim to do more with all partners, and hope that these VTLs can serve as a pathfinder for more countries and regions to reconnect safely,” he added. 


A total of 46 transport ministers from around the world participated in the ICAO High-Level Conference on COVID-19 Ministerial Plenary session including Mr Iswaran, who led the Singapore delegation, said the Ministry of Transport (MOT) in a media release on Wednesday.

The ministers also discussed civil aviation policy and regulatory issues, including the economic and safety impact of COVID-19 on the international aviation sector, said MOT. 

The ICAO is the United Nations specialised agency tasked with promoting the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation. It sets standards and regulations for aviation safety, security, and environmental protection, and serves as the forum for co-operation in all areas of civil aviation among its 193 member states.

On Tuesday, Mr Iswaran also urged member states to come together “to rebuild a stronger, safer and more resilient global aviation system”. 

Government and industry leaders “must collaborate on the safe resumption of operations, building capacity and essential capabilities and investing in sustainable solutions for the future”, he said. 

He also highlighted ICAO’s role in bringing countries together to “forge a path to the post-pandemic new normal” and to galvanise member states to restore connectivity and “re-invigorate the global economy”. 


Source: CNA/vc