Preparing for a Cleaner Tomorrow, Together

FAA, Global Leaders Gather for Inaugural Changi Aviation Summit and ICAO Program on Aviation Recovery and Resilience.

Laurence Wildgoose, FAA Assistant Administrator, discusses aviation sustainability at the Changi Aviation Summit in Singapore (2nd from Lt).

By Laurence Wildgoose, Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment, Federal Aviation Administration

On May 17–18, I joined more than 300 global aviation leaders, policy makers, and senior aviation executives representing 45 countries at the inaugural Changi Aviation Summit in Singapore. The event’s theme was “Readying for Take-off: A Brighter & Cleaner Tomorrow” and was organized by Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), some of the FAA’s most important global safety partners.

The Changi Aviation Summit was the first key civil aviation event held in the region since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of two days, aviation leaders from government and industry engaged in panel discussions covering themes such as: reviving aviation, rebuilding connections; clearer and greener skies ahead; and inclusive innovation.

Left: Connecting with Dr. Hassan Shahidi, President and CEO, Flight Safety Foundation; Right: Meeting with Han Kok Juan, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

I participated in a panel titled, “Cleaner and Greener Skies Ahead,” where I encouraged leaders to go beyond ambitious climate commitments to deliver meaningful actions that address the global climate crisis. Fortunately, I had the FAA to use as an example: we recently introduced the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan, which sets the ambitious — yet achievable — goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. aviation sector by 2050. But that’s not all we’re doing to create a safer and more sustainable aviation system:

  • We’re teaming up with U.S. airports for the FAA Airports Climate Challenge to help them track their progress in achieving our net-zero emissions goal.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration launched the government-wide Sustainable Aviation Fuels Grand Challenge, which will inspire the production of at least 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuels per year by 2030, and 35 billion gallons per year in 2050.
  • We announced $100 million in cost-shared contracts through the CLEEN Program to increase aircraft efficiency, reduce noise and aircraft emissions, and evaluate novel sustainable aviation fuels.
  • We’ve provided over $300 million in investments to develop electronic airport equipment.
  • We launched the Sustainable Tower Design Initiative to explore new concepts for sustainable air traffic control tower.
  • We have announced over $16 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase energy and water efficiency at air traffic facilities, reducing almost 4 million kWh of electricity use.

I also had the pleasure of meeting with directors-general from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the European Union’s Department for Mobility and Transport, the South African Civil Aviation Authority, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, as well as Dr. Hassan Shahidi, the president of the Flight Safety Foundation and other key leaders. We covered topics that include climate and sustainability, FAA technical training opportunities for other agencies, and the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment Program.

In a more intimate venue, directors-general from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean met at the Program on Aviation Recovery and Resilience where we learned from each other and shared our best practices on aviation safety, efficiency, and resilience. This also provided another valuable opportunity for us to meet with leaders from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Malta, Canada, and other countries we haven’t been able to engage with recently due to challenges from the pandemic.

Left: In conversation with Poppy Khoza, Director, South African Civil Aviation Authority; Right: Discussing aviation sustainability with YBhg. Datuk Captain Chester Voo Chee Soon, Chief Executive Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia.

It was an honor to represent the FAA in this important region of the globe and to reconnect with many of our global partners in person after more than two years. The aviation industry will continue to recover and U.S. leadership is necessary to help chart the course for international aviation’s safety, sustainable and resilient future.

The inaugural Changi Aviation Summit (CAS) 2022, themed “Readying for take-off: A brighter & cleaner tomorrow,” was held from May 16–19 in Singapore.

Visit the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) website for more information.

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