(GENEVA) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) applauds the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) for its support of the aviation industry with the creation of the S$210 million Air Hub Development Fund (AHDF).

Over three years aviation will benefit from 15% discounts on aircraft landing fees and rentals as well as incentives to attract new services and expand the activities of existing airlines.

In response to IATA's request following September 11, Singapore Changi offered airlines a 10% reduction in user charges until December 2002. In recognition of this, IATA awarded Singapore's Changi Airport with an Eagle Award. The AHDF extends the period for another three years and increases the discount level to 15%.

IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani commented that "This is yet another clear demonstration of Singapore's strategic understanding of the contributions of air transport to the overall economy and the requirements for aviation to be successful. As the airline industry continues to struggle with its recovery, I congratulate Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong, Minister of Transport for Singapore on providing much needed relief for the airlines that will also serve to strengthen Singapore's position as an important air hub in the region."

Bisignani concluded that "This is exactly the spirit of partnership that airlines seek with airports. Valuing partnership and the health of the industry above short term profiteering has a clear and long-term role in the successful development of an air hub. There are valuable lessons for all airports in Changi's formula for success."