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Saturday January 19th 2019

Is SIA practising Singaporean-first policy in their pilot hiring criterion?

Dear Gilbert

I refer to two articles posted on your website  “insufficient employment protection for local commercial pilots” and “letter of appeal to Prime Minister’s office for the job security of SIA pilots.”

From the two articles, most people would have an idea how rough and tedious a pilot career can be, in particularly  in Singapore.

Typically, most if not all Singaporeans would join Singapore Airlines or Singapore Air Force to kick start their flying career. Due to strict selection, not many Singaporeans are selected for the Air Force. Having to say that, Singaporeans can still opt to join SQ at 26 years old.

To gain cadetship with Singapore Airlines is not a walk in the park. For start, as a Singaporean, you would be competing with other nationalities from India,Malaysia or even Hongkong.

In terms of age (ALL foreigners can join SQ as young as 18), prospects and liabilities such as Reservists, we have already lost at the starting line. Singapore Airlines is probably the one and only national airline that offers cadetship to other nationalities.

Is our country really lack of “aviation passionate” people or talented people who want to be a pilot ? I doubt so.

Most countries implement “Locals First” policy in particularly in this industry due to limited jobs. We do not have to look far for a good example. Our neighbour, Malaysia has drastically reduced the number foreign pilots when there were more than 500 unemployed self sponsored fresh pilots from the flying schools.

Ironically, when Singapore Airlines has a surplus of pilots, they send the local pilots to the middle east airlines while the subsidiaries of Singapore Airlines such as SCOOTS, TIGER or SILKAIR still actively hiring foreigners. Why were we forced to leave this place where we called home? Why are we treated secondary when we have done our dues for THIS country?

The biggest achievement of an airline pilot is to be able to sit on the left side of the cockpit albeit being a captain. Most if not all countries have strict upgrade/promotion policy and only their own local people have the privilege to be upgraded to captain and not the foreigners.

The reason is simple, they understand most foreigners will eventually leave the country after receiving the captain bar. Why do we need to give opportunities to foreigners when they are merely using Singapore as a stepping stone for something even greater ?

China, an aviation booming country who needs thousands and thousands of pilots, have stated that only locals can be promoted to Captains and they should not be overly reliance on foreigners.

they know, it is NOT sustainable and fair to the locals.  Singapore is a small island with a limited pilot jobs, do we really have to depend on foreigners to fill the gaps ?

It’s not surprising and uncommon to see a 26 years old foreign first officer promoting to captain in Singapore where Singaporeans would probably get their LONG shot at 38 years old due to foreign management in OUR local airlines and policy made by the government.

There are many Singaporeans like Mr. Lau Boon Huan who are risking their lives working in overseas just because Singapore government does not have a stalwart policy to protect the interests of the own people, Singaporeans.

Sadly, Mr. Lau Boon Huan is the casualty of such policy made by the government of Singapore.

An Overseas SINGAPOREAN Pilot

PS: Singapore is a small island with very limited airspace.

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3 Responses to “Is SIA practising Singaporean-first policy in their pilot hiring criterion?”

  1. sal says:

    What to do, the policies does not protect local or in favor with the locals….hopefully future party that gov the city will do more for locals right.

  2. Dico says:

    Why? All GLCs goes to the extreme of pleasing the PM in his quest for foreign taste.

  3. Elwood says:

    great blog I am a huge aviation nerd from Thailand

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