News Details | 06-Feb-2013

NTU and CAAS establish Singapore's first Research Institute for Air Traffic Management

Together, both partners have committed over S$70 million for ATM R&D activities

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to establish the Air Traffic Management Research Institute (ATMRI), Singapore’s first institute dedicated to research and development (R&D) in air traffic management (ATM). Over the next five years, CAAS will provide S$50 million to fund ATM R&D activities undertaken by the ATMRI, as well as ATM experts for the research projects, while NTU will provide in-kind contributions of S$22 million, including research manpower and facilities.

“The ATMRI is a key element of CAAS’ larger effort to build Singapore as a Centre of Excellence for ATM . Through the conduct of high quality ATM R&D of world class standard, the ATMRI will develop innovative solutions to catalyse ATM transformation in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region, harmonised with ATM developments globally for interoperability. In addressing the ATM needs of Singapore, the ATMRI will contribute to enhancing safety and efficiency of air traffic, thereby maintaining Singapore’s position as a leading air hub. The ATMRI will also contribute to progress towards seamless ATM in the region, in the face of robust air traffic growth,” said Mr Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, CAAS.

Professor Freddy Boey, Provost of NTU, said, “NTU has established globally recognised strengths in engineering and science and is well placed to lead in this area of ATM Research. Our School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), which will be championing this initiative, is one of the largest mechanical engineering schools in the world, with globally recognised expertise in design, advanced manufacturing, robotics, aerodynamics, human factors engineering and operational research.” Professor Boey continued, “Through the new Institute, NTU will be able to translate more of our fundamental research - what we call yet-to-be-applied research - into feasible applications in the real world, not only generating knowledge and know-how but also providing critical manpower needed for research in ATM. It will help our efforts to build up and nurture intellectual and human capital for ATM R&D in Singapore and beyond. With a vibrant ATM R&D community in Singapore, we will be able to retain a strong research talent pool in the long run.”

The CAAS-NTU collaboration will see synergy in CAAS’ domain knowledge in ATM, and NTU’s research capabilities and talent. As a leading air navigation services provider in the region, CAAS has vast expertise and experience in ATM operations and has contributed actively to ATM modernisation and harmonisation efforts in the region. NTU is a world-renowned research-intensive university with deep and diverse research expertise, including in the areas of human factors, operational research, and information management system design and development, all of which are highly relevant to ATM R&D.

The ATMRI will undertake research projects that seek to create air traffic capacity and enhance efficiency of flight operations, starting with the areas of:

• Air-Ground Traffic Management: Improve runway throughput through more efficient management of air traffic and airspace around the airport.
• Weather Forecast and Information Management: Enable advance planning of air traffic flows by minimising weather-induced disruptions to fight operations.
• Aircraft Separation Management: Optimise aircraft-to-aircraft separation to boost runway throughput by using better prediction and modelling tools.
• Human Performance: Enhance human-machine interface to reduce human errors arising from increased automation, and optimise workflow efficiency.

The ATMRI will also collaborate with international entities with interests and expertise in ATM. This will facilitate knowledge and expertise transfer to contribute to jump-starting ATM research efforts in Singapore. Partnerships with such foreign entities will also inject global perspectives to the work undertaken by the Institute and ensure that the concepts and solutions developed here are aligned and harmonised with international developments. The ATMRI will have an office and laboratory of over 1,000 square metres of space at NTU.


Media contact:

Mr Lester Kok
Assistant Manager (Media Relations)
Nanyang Technological University
DID : (65) 6790 6804
Email :

Ms Satwinder Kaur
Assistant Director (Corporate Communications)
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
DID : (65) 6541 2912
Email :

About the Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. This year NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district. For more information, visit

About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore

The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation.

For more information, visit


Share Article