AirX, a joint venture between ST Engineering and Peluca, will collaborate with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in the trials of AirX’s AirFish Wing-in-Ground (WIG) craft in Singapore.

AirX intends to trial both the single-engine and the dual-engine AirFish 8 prototypes, which can seat up to 8 passengers. Vessels like the WIG craft, which operates just above the sea surface by using ground effect , are governed by the guidelines from the International Maritime Organization. The WIG craft utilises the same collision avoidance rules as conventional ships, and is much faster, fuel efficient and hence more sustainable compared to conventional ships, states the company.

The collaboration is a step towards realising the potential of such technology in areas such as maritime transportation and logistics services.

AirX will work with MPA to identify an area off Changi, Singapore, to conduct the trials. MPA will also ensure that measures are in place so that port operations will not be affected during the trials, including sending out advance notification to vessels and the public to keep clear of the area. The trials, which will contribute to the establishment of an Engineering and Certification Centre of Excellence for WIG in Singapore to further attract professionals into the maritime domain, are expected to commence from the third quarter of 2024 at a frequency of twice monthly.

AirX will also work with a classification society on the process and compliance requirements for an Approval in Principle (AiP). The AiP is a validated third-party technical assessment and a certification milestone for the vehicle’s classification as a marine vessel before it can commence any commercial operations. The AiP will be awarded by a classification society upon assessment of the WIG craft’s compliance with safety, quality and environmental standards.

During the Singapore Maritime Week 2024, the 10-seater AirFish 8 will be on display to the public at the Vessel Showcase, from 13-14 April 2024 at the Marina South Pier; while the two-seater AirFish 3 will be on display at the Suntec City Convention Centre from 16 -18 April 2024.

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