2 FUNDS FOR CHANGI AIRPORT PROFITS
Changi Airport will soon have to park part of its annual profits in two funds, as part of the Government's plans to ensure enough resources to deal with aviation crises and support future expansion.
Changi Airport Group will have to set up and maintain a reserve fund with annual undisclosed contributions, under the Aviation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill passed in Parliament yesterday.
Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng said: "The reserve fund will act as a buffer against significant shocks to the aviation system, such as a downturn in the economy or a pandemic like Sars which may cause a sudden decrease in public confidence in air travel."
Separately, Changi Airport will also have to make annual contributions - from its surplus - to the Changi Airport Development Fund, which was set up in 2015 to support airport expansion projects.
Mr Ng also revealed that the Government has decided to reduce the cost of the new tax fee for travellers at the airport.
The initial plan was to charge each traveller departing from Changi Airport $12 and half the amount for those in transit, as part of a new tax to help fund a massive airport expansion project. But after listening to industry feedback, the Government decided to reduce the fee to $10.80 and $3, respectively.
The new airport development levy for travellers will start from July 1 and will be collected by airlines as part of the total air fare.
SOFTWARE BUG DISRUPTED SYSTEMS
Disruptions to the SingPass and CorpPass systems early last month were caused by a software bug that manifested only after a system enhancement was installed in January, said Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary.
The bug was in the server provided by the commercial vendor Gemalto and was previously undetected, explained Dr Janil, who was responding to a question by Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC) about investigations over the disruptions.
Gemalto, the Dutch cyber-security provider, has acknowledged the fault lay with the software bug and has been helpful in the recovery process, said Dr Janil.
On Feb 8, access to the authentication systems for SingPass and CorpPass experienced a six-hour outage. Another five-hour disruption took place the following day.
"Our early detection and warning capabilities can be improved and will be improved," said Dr Janil.
"We intend to do so by enhancing the software checks and diagnostics so that in such cases, the engineers can act before the system condition worsens to a state that would affect users."
PDVL ONLY IN ENGLISH
More than 90 per cent of applicants for the private-hire car driver's vocational licence (PDVL) have at least a D7 grade in O- or N-level English, said Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng.
The rest of the applicants passed the Level 3 Listening, Reading and Speaking modules of the Workplace Literacy Computer Adaptive Test.
He was responding to Miss Cheng Li Hui (Tampines GRC), who had asked for the numbers.
Mr Ng said private-hire car drivers must be able to read and speak simple English so that they can navigate roads and buildings, "the names of which are primarily in English".
"This also ensures that the drivers can communicate effectively with all commuters - both Singaporeans and tourists."