$60m lift for airport retailers?

AS air traffic falls, more than$60 million has been set aside to give retailers at Changi Airport a much needed lift.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will provide a rental relief package – $43 million in rebates and $20 million for a newly set up “Promotions Development Fund” – for retail, F&B and services concessionaires to help them remain viable, Senior Minister of State (Transport) Lim Hwee Hua said yesterday.

Last December, some $130 million was set aside to entrench airlines at Changi, which is expected to welcome 8.5 per cent fewer passengers and 5.1 per cent less in air cargo this year, according to Mrs Lim.

She also updated Parliament on CAAS’ corporatisation exercise. The organisation will be split operationally into a private company and a regulator in April. The legal separation is set for July.

Addressing MPs’ concerns about layoffs, Mrs Lim reiterated that the exercise is “not a cost-cutting” one, but would in fact create more jobs.

“No retrenchment of staff is thus expected,” she said. “All staff will join the new company and new Civil Aviation Authority on ‘no worse-off’ terms at the point of transfer.”

Source : Today – 13 Feb 2009

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