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Flight fantasy comes true

Mr Marc See Yi En has always been fascinated by flight and the technology that enables it, as well as how aviation helped to shape today’s globalised world.

He studied Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom on a scholarship awarded by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

A two-month internship with CAAS after his first year at university reaffirmed his belief that aviation was the right career for him.

“The experience gained from the internship opened my eyes to the aviation landscape and different aspects of the very dynamic and constantly evolving industry,” he says.

As part of CAAS’ Air Navigation Services Policy and Planning (ANSPP) division, Mr See, 27, worked on public consultation on the review of regulations for aerial activities and capacity planning for Seletar Airport.

“Given CAAS’ diverse focus, which include aviation safety regulation, aviation industry development and international aviation development, I felt that the scholarship was an excellent fit for my interests and aspirations,” he says.

Chasing His Dreams

After graduating with a Master of Engineering (MEng) in 2015, Mr See was posted to the Airworthiness and Flight Operations (AFO) division at CAAS.

The two-year stint saw him developing and driving strategies to enhance work processes in safety regulation by reviewing audit methodologies, developing standardised surveillance tools and analysing safety data.

Mr See appreciates CAAS’ practice of rotating its officers between divisions every two years as it enables him to gain exposure and continue his learning journey in different job functions.

Last September, he began his second job rotation in the Aviation Industry (AI) division, which works to ensure that Singapore remains a global air hub of choice by strengthening workers’ skills, building productivity and encouraging innovation.

As a manager in the Aviation Transformation Programme Office, his typical day involves meetings with research institutes, technology companies, air transport stakeholders or other government agencies.

He elaborates: “My team works in partnership with the air transport, research and technology stakeholders to support the development and implementation of initiatives to boost productivity for the airport.

“During these engagements, we assess project proposals, discuss implementation of initiatives and identify new potential partnerships within the aviation sector.”

Mr See enjoys the numerous opportunities he gets to interact with the aviation, technology and research communities.

As he “constantly strives to learn as much as possible”, he appreciates the chance to stay updated on industry developments, be exposed to the latest upcoming technology, and gain insights from industry experts and leaders in his work.

Although his initial lack of industry experience and unfamiliarity with the operations made it challenging to assess which new initiatives would be most suited to the airport’s operating environment, he finds that reading widely, maintaining a strong partnership with the industry and being comfortable with learning on the job helps to mitigate this.

“Things are never dull at work and every day is engaging and educational. The AI division’s scope of work is very forward- looking, which translates to a very energetic and positive work culture,” he says.