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Asia’s First Specialized Aviation Mediation Framework Takes Flight

Our Bureau - : Feb 21, 2024 - : 6:34 pm

Singapore (Feb. 21, 2024), The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation (The Hague CAA), and the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) have joined forces to establish Asia’s inaugural specialized mediation framework for the aviation sector. At the Singapore Airshow, a memorandum of understanding was signed, marking a milestone in promoting mediation for aviation-related disputes in the region.

“The aviation industry is a crucial arterial of global commerce. In the past few years, the industry in Asia has faced unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic. An efficient method for dispute resolution between industry players is key to help the industry back to growth and success,” said Paul Ng, Co-Chair of The Hague CAA’s Mediation Standing Committee and head of Aviation at leading regional law firm, Rajah & Tann.

“The Hague CAA was formed to offer specialized arbitration and mediation services fine-tuned to the distinctive dynamics and needs of the sector. Singapore is a leading international commercial alternative dispute resolution hub for the region and globally. We are especially delighted to partner with SIMC, the leading Singapore institution specializing in cross-border dispute resolution, our natural choice as a key partner when it comes to mediation for our sector in Asia,” he added.

Mediation, guided by a trained mediator, facilitates negotiations between parties to reach mutually agreeable solutions. This approach differs from adversarial methods like litigation or arbitration, offering flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

“We are delighted to partner with The Hague CAA which specializes in addressing disputes within the aviation sector and is committed to advancing the use of mediation within it. In a fast-moving, mission-critical industry like aviation, the speedy resolution of disputes is absolutely essential. Mediation is a fast, flexible, and cost-effective mode of alternative dispute resolution that can be used before and during litigation or arbitration to complement one’s dispute resolution strategy. Ninety percent mediations administered by SIMC take only one day and enjoy a settlement rate of over 70 percent. This translates into potential time and cost savings for commercial parties in a dispute,” said Chuan Wee Meng, SIMC’s CEO.

The signing, witnessed by industry representatives, underscores Singapore’s pivotal role in the global aerospace landscape and its commitment to fostering alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

“With one of Asia’s largest and most diverse aviation ecosystems, Singapore is a key node in the global aerospace value chain and has over 130 aerospace players located here. This specialised mediation framework for the aviation industry provides parties here with an alternative means to resolve industry-specific disputes. It is a welcome development that builds on Singapore’s position as an international legal services and dispute resolution hub,” said Celia Sia, Senior Vice President and Head, Hub Strategy, EDB.

“The aviation and aerospace ecosystem is highly interconnected, and parties commonly enter into multiple or long-term commercial arrangements, as we’ve seen here at the Singapore Airshow. By embracing mediation as the first option for disputes, aviation and aerospace organisations can find win-win solutions, safeguarding valuable commercial relationships for the long run,” said Mr. Sia Kheng Yok, Chief Executive, Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore).

The MOU also outlines plans to promote the adoption of suitable dispute resolution clauses in the aviation industry and collaborate on training and events.


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