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Enhancing Air Productivity with 5G Aviation Testbed

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), in collaboration with Singtel, has launched a 5G aviation testbed at Terminal 3 of Singapore's Changi Airport. This initiative enables companies to test and adopt new solutions using 5G technology, translating into increased productivity in critical air operations such as ground assistance, line maintenance, and aircraft ground operations.

Backed by the Changi Airport Group (CAG), the project is expected to run for two years. After this period, CAAS will evaluate the results for potential large-scale implementation at Changi Airport. The establishment of the 5G aviation testbed represents one of CAAS's initiatives to transform the aviation industry, driving productivity and enhancing operational capabilities post-COVID-19.

The adoption of 5G will empower companies in Terminal 3's operational area to leverage the vast bandwidth, high-speed connectivity, and low latency offered by this technology to transform their operations.

"Some projects are already underway and will utilize this testbed for teleoperations of autonomous vehicles (AV) and secure flight data transfer between aircraft and their data centers," stated a CAAS representative.

Other potential use cases under study include advanced remote aircraft inspection and the use of video analytics and artificial intelligence to improve aircraft delivery time prediction, thereby enhancing flight punctuality.

As part of the two-year test project, approximately 4,000 Singtel's 4G corporate mobile lines on the airside have been equipped with 5G.

"While the implementation of 5G technology opens up new possibilities for airport operations, it is crucial to prioritize flight safety. In consultation with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), CAG, and local telecommunications companies, CAAS has developed safety guidelines and mitigation measures, such as transmission power restrictions and antenna tilt angles, to ensure flight operations," said Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS.

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