Charmaine Liu

Planning and Development Manager

My company and job

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) oversees the development of the air transport sector in Singapore, through the roles of aviation regulator, service provider and industry developer.

I am currently in the planning and development team in the aviation industry division, focusing on youth outreach and manpower development. My day-to-day work involves engaging aviation companies and schools, analysing policies and gathering intelligence, and youth outreach and industry promotion through activities such as the Aviation Open House and Aviation Learning Journeys.

Getting the job

Before I joined CAAS, my first career was in education — as an economics teacher in a junior college. As much as I enjoyed being in the education sector, I was eventually drawn to the aviation industry through the experiences of a close friend who was working there.

I underwent an essay test, and was also interviewed before a panel. There were generally two types of questions asked – first on job knowledge and analysis, and secondly on my personal qualities. I had a relatively good understanding of government policies as I was exposed to it during my previous job, and my training in economics also prepared me well for policy analysis and articulating my thoughts clearly.

The best bits

I enjoy how my work allows me to impact policies and do planning at a national level. The outcome of our work - such as the development of a new airport, and the buzz created for the aviation industry  -  is something that can’t be measured in bottom lines.

Job rotation is another key aspect of career development in CAAS. For the past 2 years, I was handling master planning regulations and land policies for Changi Airport, but recently rotated to handle aviation youth outreach and manpower development. I am very grateful for such rotation opportunities, as it allows me to appreciate and manage issues from different angles within this dynamic industry.

The Changi Airport environment is great too – it’s always alive with activity, and as an added benefit, we get to watch planes take off every day!