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The earliest roads were laid out in the Jackson Plan in 1822. A grid system was adopted for the town with roads for carriages being 16 yards wide, and those for horses four yards wide.
First Street Gas Lamps
Gas lamps were first used to light the streets on 24 May 1864.
First Public Transport
In 1862, the Lambert brothers established the Singapore Carriage Works in Orchard Road supplying the public with horse, carriage and driver at short notice.
First Horses Sold in Singapore
The first horses sold in Singapore were imported in 1844 from Sydney and the 11 equines fetched a price of 211 Dutch guilders. Horse auctions were held in Commercial Square up until the 1890s. One of the first forms of transportation in Singapore was the palanquin, an enclosed horse-drawn carriage.
First Imported Vehicles
The first vehicles brought into Singapore were 2 three-wheelers by TS Thomson and his friend, Robert Jamie, a chemist at John Little’s, in 1866-1867.
In 1914, at least 15 trishaws were first registered in Singapore.
The first rickshaws, called the jinrickshaws, were muscle-powered, small and lightweight two-wheel carts imported from Shanghai in 1880. By 1907, there were 7,469 jinrickshaws on the roads – 998 of them were first-class (with rubber tyres) and the rest were second-class (with iron tyres).
First Rickshaw Depot
As the number of rickshaws grew rapidly, the government in 1899 built a depot at the junction of Middle Road and Prinsep Street to inspect and impound the vehicles. In 1903, the bigger Jinrikisha Station was built at the junction of Tanjong Pagar Road and Neil Road. Rickshaws were phased out after the Second
First Bicycle Factory
In 1895, bicycle manufacturer, Edward Lyon, started the first bicycle factory on Battery Road. The company preceded the Straits Cycle Company, which later became known for its Laju bicycles.
First Registration Of Bicycles
Registration of bicycles was first introduced on 1 Oct 1947. 345,703 bicycles were registered in the first registration exercise.
Largest Bicycle Retail Chain
In 1997, Rodalink started with 3 stores in Singapore, at East Coast, Bukit Timah and Upper Thomson. By 2008, the company expanded and opened another store at Tradehub 21 known as the biggest bicycle store in Singapore and stretching over 6,300 sq ft. In 2010, the company opened another branch at One
Biggest Distributor Of Bicycles
Chwee Huat Co is the biggest distributor of bicycles. Some of the brands it deals in are Momoki, Urata, Wheeler, Akimbo and Tahara. It imports 7,500 bicycles a month to be distributed locally and overseas.
First Bike Sharing Scheme
On Apr 2012, product designer and avid cyclist Francis Chu, launched Singapore’s first bike sharing system, Isuda. The bikes are contained in mobile storage stations, which would allow faster recycling of the bikes.
First Cycling Town
Tampines town officially became Singapore’s first model cycling town on 1 Mar 2010. It is the only town where cycling is allowed on footways. Besides widening existing footways and building new dedicated bicycle paths, Tampines also introduced new Town Council bylaws and volunteer cycling wardens.
First Motor Scooter
The first motor scooter in Singapore was registered in 1920.
First Scooter Factory
The East Asiatic Co opened an assembly plant in Jurong in 1965, making scooters for the Italian brand, Vespa.
First Electric Scooter
Zeco Scooters launched Singapore’s first electric scooter in Jan 2009. The German E-max scooter can achieve a speed of over 50 km/h with a range of 90 km on fully charged batteries.
Most Popular Bikes And Scooters
As at end 2012, there were 58,614 Honda motorcycles (41 percent of the category that also include scooters) followed by 45,158 Yamahas.
Most Fuel-Efficient Motorbike Above A litre
The 1,584cc Harley-Davidson Road King FLHR was tested on 14 Jul 2007 to cover 502 km on a 18.9-litre tank of petrol from Gelang Patah to the outskirts of Ipoh. The fuel efficiency worked out to be 26.5 km per litre or 64.33 miles per gallon. The fuel used was Caltex Silver with Techron (95 octane). The test
was conducted by Poh Yu Seung with SBOR adjudicators.
Largest Motorbike There are 4 Triumph Rocket III in Singapore, the world’s largest capacity production motorbike. The 2,294-cc bike made in the UK has a 240-mm wide rear tyre, the widest rear tyre of any production motorbike. The bike can go 0-100 kmh in 3.5 sec.
First Lady Motorist
The first lady motorist in Singapore was Mrs Dare, wife of GM Dare, who drove a 12-horsepower two-cylinder Star in 1896.
The first chauffeur was Hassan bin Mohamed. He was taught to drive by Mrs Dare, the first lady motorist.
First Automobile Advertisement
Aw Boon Haw, whose company sold the famous Tiger Balm ointment, created the first automobile advertisement in 1927 when he transformed his car, a German model, into a ‘tiger’ with the use of a large red ‘tiger’s head’ at the front, complete with wire whiskers, high-wattage bulbs to light the eyes at night and 2 klaxon horns that ‘roared’.
First Automobile Importer
Katz Brothers were the agents of Benz and Cie and they imported the first automobile into Singapore in 1896. In 1929, it became Henry Waugh and Co.
Most Car Registrations
In 2012, BMW had the highest registration in Singapore with 5,039 cars registered, followed by Mercedes Benz with 4,323 registrations. 2006 had the most car registrations in history, 117,062 new cars were registered as a result of low COEs, a high employment rate and a strong economy.
Most Popular Cars
As at end 2012, there were 161,074 Toyota cars (28 percent of all cars), 90,861 Honda cars, and 59,590 Nissan cars in Singapore.
First Car And Car Owner
The first car in Singapore was a 4.5 horsepower Benz Victoria nicknamed ‘The Coffee Machine’ owned by lawyer Charles Burton Buckley. In 1896, the car was brought into Singapore by Katz Brothers representing Benz and Cie. Its top speed was 18.6 mph and it had to be started by putting a spoonful of petrol into
the carburetor and lighting it with a match to warm it up, and then hand-turning a large flywheel at the rear. Registration of cars began in 1906 and due to a delay, his car was registered as S6. By 1918, there were 1,800 motorised vehicles on the roads.
First Motor Assembly Plant
The Ford Motor Co of Malaya Ltd was established in 1926 at Enggor Street to distribute Ford vehicles. 4 years later, the company moved to a warehouse at Prince Edward Road, where imported units were assembled. In 1941, it moved to a new car assembly plant at Upper Bukit Timah Road.
Oldest Car Agent
CFF Wearne and his brother, TJB Wearne, embarked on an automobile engineering work in Orchard Road in 1906. The garage measured 100 ft by 200 ft. CFF Wearne & Co was also sole agent for Star, Frick, Oldsmobile and Reo cars.
First Car Sharing Scheme
In 1997, NTUC Income started Singapore’s first car-sharing scheme. The NTUC Income Car Cooperative currently offers 24-hr access to more than 200 cars located conveniently at 60 sites in housing estates, near MRT stations and bus interchanges. The car cooperative has a membership of over 5,000.
Largest Taxi Company
ComfortDelgro is one of the world’s largest passenger land transport company and has a global fleet of more than 45,700 vehicles. In Singapore, it operates over 20,915 taxis under the brand names, Comfort and CityCab, and employs over 10,000 people.
In 1933, Wearne Brothers brought in the first yellow-top taxis to Singapore. By 1936, the fleet consisted of Morris 8 saloons. These yellow-tops reached a peak of 3,800 in 1960, being the only cabs around. Unlike other taxi companies today, yellow-top taxi licences are registered in the drivers’ own
First Woman Taxi Driver
Wong Ah Mooi, at 21, was granted a taxi license on 23 May 1958. She became the first female to join the ranks of over 2,000 male taxi drivers. She was also a black-belt judo exponent. She retired in 2000.
First Fleet Of CNG-Powered Taxis
Smart Automobile, established in 1991, launched Singapore’s first fleet of taxis powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) in Dec 2005. With 100 cabs, it also has the largest fleet of Mercedes-Benz CNG taxis in Asia. The limousine taxis are bi-fuel and will automatically switch to run on petrol when they are out of
Largest Super Car Convoy
Over 30 high-end cars kicked off the fourth edition of the Franck Muller Super Car tour from 2-7 Nov 2011. The convoy travelled from Singapore to Malaysia and Thailand, clocking 3,000 km each. With a line-up of exotics like the Pagani Zonda F, Mercedes DTM CLK and a Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, the total value of the convoy was estimated to be a whopping $25 million. At Phuket, the drivers were met by Franck Muller himself.
First To Produce Fire-Fighting Vehicles
ComfortDelgro Engineering was the first local company to design and produce a light fire attack vehicle, the Red Rhino, in 2000.
Largest Display of Porsches
Porsche Club Singapore’s 20th anniversary was celebrated with the official premiere of the new Porsche Cayenne GTS on 14 Mar 2008. The occasion saw 115 Porsche cars on display at the Padang. The Porsche car owners drove through Orchard Road and ended their journey at the Singapore Cricket Club.
Largest Gathering Of Lamborghinis
At the Bedok Motor Sports Family Carnival on 5 Apr 2008, 26 Lamborghini owners brought their supercars down for a gathering at the Bedok Stadium carpark.
Largest Gathering Of Ferraris
At the Bedok Motor Sports Family Carnival on 5 Apr 2008, 32 Ferrari owners participated with their cars at the Bedok Stadium carpark.
Longest Stretch Limousine
In 2008, Lotus Limousines brought in the the Chrysler 300C, which measures a tad over 8m, to rent to people who must arrive in style. It accommodates 8 in the rear, where passengers can help themselves to a mini bar or watch movies on the plasma TV system. Rental starts from $318 an hour for the chauffeur
The oldest car in Singapore is the 1930 MG M-Type Sports car that belongs to medical doctor and avid car collector, Ivor Thevathesan.
Most Expensive Car
The Pagani Huayra was launched in Singapore in Mar 2012 with 3 buyers paying upwards of S$3.6 million each. It boasts a 6.0-litre V12 Mercedes Benz AMG engine, capable of pumping out 700-horsepower and hitting a top speed of 370 kmh.
Most Fuel-Efficient Petrol Car
HOPE07, South-East Asia’s first eco-car, competed against 155 teams at the Shell Eco-Marathon held at the Nogaro Racing Circuit in France on 11-13 May 2007. The car can travel 3,000 km on a litre of petrol. It was developed by the NUS team led by Assoc Prof Lu Wen Feng with consultancy HOPE Technik and DSO
National Laboratories. The car, measuring 3m long, 0.7m wide and 0.7m tall, uses a 34cc petrol engine modified from a lawn-mower.
Largest Self-Built Car
Singapore-born Bernard Chin and German Willy Ballmann assembled and built an Ultima A, a fiberglass supercar powered by a high-compression, naturally-aspirated 7-litre 650bhp, 810Nm Corvette engine. They took 800 hours over the course of one year, completing the job in Nov 2008. Except for the
occasional help of workshops and fabricators, they assembled all the parts in the 1,000-kg car – from wiring to interior architecture to metalworks.
Most Fuel-Efficient Cell Car
The NUS Faculty of Engineering eco-car which participated at the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, weighs merely 70 kg. The lightweight vehicle is equipped with airless tyres, which are low in maintenance and wholly recyclable. The eco-car can travel from Singapore to Bangkok without recharging, at 950 km per litre of energy. It only emits water as a by-product of the hydrogen fuel it uses. The car has a top speed of 65 km per hour.
Only Delorean Car
The 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 car owned by 28-year-old Andrew Lau, is the only functioning such car found in Singapore. Running on a 2.8-litre V6 engine, it is characterised by its gull-wing doors. The car was featured as a time-machine in the 1985 blockbuster movie Back To The Future.
First Traffic Lights
The first traffic lights in Singapore were installed at the junction of Serangoon and Bukit Timah Roads in 1948.
First Steam Trams
Steam trams began in 1867 to carry goods from the harbour to the town. However it was not a commercial success and the service was auctioned off to the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company which used them to carry freight until the service was discontinued in 1894.
In 1902, the Singapore Electric Tramway Ltd was the first company to build, equip and run tramways. 6 lines were laid through the town and trams started running in 1905. At its peak, trams carried an average of 11,000 passengers daily.
First Motor Buses
The first motor buses were introduced in the 1930s and soon they replaced the trolley buses.
First Trolley Buses
In Oct 1925, the Shanghai Electric Construction Company Ltd established the Singapore Traction Company, which was given a 30-year monopoly to run trolley buses within the town. The first service started in Aug 1926. By 1929, there were 90 trolley buses serving a total distance of 30.5 km, from Tanjong Pagar to
Joo Chiat Road. In 1962, the trolley buses were phased out by faster motor buses.
First Double Decker Buses
Singapore Bus Service (now known as SBS Transit) launched its first double-decker bus service on 13 Jun 1977 with 20 Leyland Atlanteans.
Largest Private Bus Operator
Woodlands Transport possesses a fleet of over 200 buses, ranging from 19 to 45 seating capacities to accomodate requests from schools, factories, companies, government agencies and tailor-made arrangements for international, national and private events.
First Bus Lanes
Bus Lanes have been introduced since 1974 to improve travel time of buses. Other vehicles are not allowed to be in these lanes during certain peak hours. In 2005, full day bus lanes were introduced on busy roads. The scheme improved bus speeds as well as ridership.
Oldest Bus Stop
A 1970s bus stop located along Old Choa Chu Kang Road originally slated to be torn down as part of improvement works, has been preserved by the Land Transport Authority. The bus stop is made of concrete and metal.
First Air-Conditioned Bus Interchange
Toa Payoh Interchange, completed in 2002, is the first air-conditioned bus interchange. There is a direct connection from the bus interchange to the Toa Payoh MRT Station. A wide range of merchandise, food and entertainment are found at the interchange.
First Wheelchair-Accessible Bus Service
SBS Transit Ltd introduced the first wheelchair-accessible bus service in Singapore on 27 Jun 2006. 10 Service 21 buses came with wheelchair-friendly features such as a manually operated ramp for boarding and alighting, as well as a single wheelchair parking space.
First WiFi-Enabled Buses
In Nov 2007, the Nokia WiFi Zone trial was started on 12 bus services. This initiative brought high-speed internet access to consumers on the go, allowing them to access the Web to chat, surf or play throughout the bus routes for free. This service was only available to Nokia phone users.
Largest Bus Manufacturer
SC Auto is the largest designer and manufacturer of buses and coaches in Singapore and its vehicles are used in Singapore and several overseas market including Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and India. The company started in 1981 when it first operated as a transport operator.
Largest Public Bus Company
SBS Transit owns 75 percent of the scheduled bus market share in Singapore with 250 bus services and has a total fleet of more than 3,000 buses. About 2.3 million people ride on the buses everyday.
John Fraser and David Chalmers Neave started producing aerated waters under the name of The Singapore and Straits Aerated Water Company. By 1900, with 63 employees, the company brought in the country’s first lorry. The company became known as F&N later.
First Vehicles With HHD
In Nov 2009, ST Kinetics launched the world’s first commercially ready Hybrid Hydraulic Drive with PSA’s port prime movers which captures and re-uses the energy normally lost from braking, resulting in lower fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The hybrid system can be easily adapted to other commercial
machines such as tractors, heavy trucks and excavators.
Largest Chain Of Petrol Kiosks
In 1999, Esso and Mobil merged their operations to form ExxonMobil but continued to run petrol kiosks under both names. Currently it has 65 stations.
First CNG Station
Owned and operated by Sembcorp Gas, the compressed natural gas (CNG) station was built on Jurong Island in 2002. It started as a pilot project by buses and taxis.
Largest CNG Station
The largest CNG fueling station is the C-Nergy Compressed Natural Gas Station at Old Toh Tuck Road. The 7,066 sqm station has 44 hoses serving CNG cars and another 2 are used to refuel heavy-duty vehicles such as buses and trucks. It was opened to the public on 9 Sep 2009. The S$16 million facility is owned and operated by bottled cooking gas supplier Union Energy.
First Unmanned Fuelling Station
Singapore’s second hydrogen fuelling station at the one-north technology hub in Portsdown Road is also the first unmanned standalone facility in the world. Opened in 2005 by BP, it is used exclusively by 6 Mercedes-Benz A-Class fuel cell cars on trial in Singapore. It has an electrolyser which produces 10 kg of hydrogen gas a day which is then compressed into hydrogen fuel.
Largest Construction Equipment Manufacturer
On 18 Sep 2010, ST Kinetics launched a new global brand – Trxbuild – to unite its 3 partner brands in China under Beijing Zhonghuan Kinetics, Guizhou Jonyang Kinetics and Jiangsu Huatong Kinetics. Trxbuild produces 120 types of equipment ranging from trucks, road construction machines to excavators and delivers these specialty vehicles to over 30 countries.
First Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Station
Located at the Singapore Polytechnic is Singapore’s first solar-powered electric vehicle charging station. This S$30,000 standalone station was launched on 17 Aug 2009 as an expansion of Greenlots, a network of charging spots. Energy is harnessed solely from the sun using 4 roof-mounted panels. These solar panels generate enough energy to charge up to 4 electric cars a day.
Largest Tyre Distributor
Mainboard-listed Stamford Tyres Corporation is Singapore’s largest distributor of tyres and wheel rims. It exports to over 30 countries and recorded a turnover of S$253 million for the 2006 financial year.
First Lithium-Manganese Battery
The first lithium-manganese batteries were manufactured by Vancouver-based Advanced Lithium Power, whose founder and chairman is Singapore-born Lim Loong Keng. The batteries were used in the world’s first plug-in petrol-electric sports car, the Fisker Karma.
Largest Auto Parts Supplier
Founded in 1933, Tye Soon is Singapore’s market leader in the automotive components sales, as well as one of the largest automotive components stockists in the region. The Mainboard-listed company represents more than 80 brands of automotive components. It has an 11,000 sqm warehouse facility at Toh Guan Road
East. Its turnover in 2011 amounted to about S$160 million.
Public Transportation Most Used
On an average day in Singapore in 2009, 3,085,000 passenger-trips were made by bus, 1,720,000 by MRT, 907,000 by taxi and 89,000 by LRT.
The quota premium for the Certificate of Entitlement in Dec 1994 was S$110,500 for category 4 cars (above 2,000 cc). The lowest was S$1 which occurred several times over the years.
First Road Pricing Scheme
Singapore introduced the Area Licensing Scheme on 2 Jun 1975 whereby vehicles entering the Central Business District, later known as the Restricted Zone, had to buy and display a S$3 daily licence or a S$60 monthly licence on their windscreens. The scheme was replaced by Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) in
First Driving Test
The first-ever driving test in Singapore was introduced by the Traffic Police in 1941.
First Multi-Storey Carpark
The 10-storey Market Street Car Park was opened in 1964. It has 2,000 sq m of retail space and 700 carpark lots.
First Underground Carpark
In 1965, an underground carpark to accommodate 250 cars was built at Raffles Place with a landscaped garden above it. In 1990, the carpark was replaced by the Raffles Place MRT Station.
Largest Private Carpark Operator
Wilson Parking was established in 1979. Today, it operates 68 carparks around Singapore with over 700 locations in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Korea.
First Car Lift
Peninsula Plaza, situated at the corner of Coleman Street and North Bridge Road was built in 1980. It was the first to incorporate a car lift in the building.
First Parking Tower
Singapore’s first parking tower was built by Inter-Roller for a 10-storey commercial building along Martin Road. The system has the capacity to park 40 cars.
First Mechanised Public Carpark System
MHE-Demag, in partnership with Dongyang Menics from Korea, delivered the first mechanised car parking system for LTA at Club Street. The system is a 10m, four-storey standalone structure with 3 lifts. Built at a cost of S$6.3 million, the 142-lot carpark opened in Feb 2008.
Largest Supplier Of Cashless Car Parking Systems
As at Apr 2013, more than 40 percent of Singapore’s carparks using cashless fee collecting systems were from Sun Japan (Singapore) Pte Ltd. Its products range from CashCard parking system, Electronic Parking System using ERP technology, Parking Guidance System and other customised parking related systems.
From its first CashCard parking system developed and installed at The JTC Summit in 2000, the company has now implemented more than 600 cashless parking systems in Singapore.
The first railway in Singapore, the Singapore-Kranji Railway, was formally opened on 1 Jan 1903. Several years later, the railway was extended to Woodlands Terminus, where passengers could get off and take a steam launch into Malaysia. The main passenger station was at Tank Road. In 1918, the properties and land
connected to the railway system were sold to the Federated Malay States Railway.
First Mass Transit
Work on the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT) began in 1983. The first train pulled out of Bishan depot to pick up passengers on 11 Nov 1987. The millionth ride on the MRT was recorded three weeks later.
First MRT Station
The Toa Payoh MRT station was completed on 5 Aug 1885. It was also the first underground station with platform screen doors in the world.
Longest MRT Breakdown
The longest MRT breakdown in its 24-year history took place on 16 Dec 2011 caused by a damaged third rail between Dhoby Ghaut and City Hall MRT stations. It occurred during its peak hour at about 7pm and affected a total of 11 train stations. Services resumed at 11.40pm.
Longest Driverless Heavy Rail System
The Circle Line is Singapore’s fourth Mass Rapid Transit line. Opened in 2011, the underground line is 35.7 km long with 31 stations. It was the world’s longest driverless fully automated metro line.
The Sentosa Monorail was opened in Feb 1982. It operated 14-car open trains going in a unidirectional counterclockwise single loop through 7 stations around Sentosa. There was no charge for passengers.
First Fully-Automated Heavy Rail System
The North-East Line (NEL), Singapore’s second major mass transit line, opened on 28 Aug 2003. It is the world’s first fully-automated heavy rail system and has 16 stations along its 20-km track.
First Major MRT Accident
On 5 Aug 1993, two MRT trains collided at Clementi station during the morning rush hour, injuring 132 commuters.
First Light Transit Rail System
The Bukit Panjang Light Transit Rail System is Singapore’s first LRT. It is fully automated and links the surrounding residential areas to the Choa Chu Kang MRT Station. Completed in 1999, it is 8 km long and has 14 stations.
Largest MRT Station
Dhoby Ghaut MRT station serves as an interchange station between the North South Line, the North East Line and the Circle Line. It is the largest and second deepest (28m) MRT station. It is also the first station in the MRT system to have a travelator within the paid-area of the station.
Most Luxurious Rail Journey
At 35m below ground level, the Bras Basah station is Singapore’s deepest train station. It is also the station with the longest escalator stretching 41.3m. A reflective pool of water with glass panels outside the SMU was created to reflect sunlight into the station. Bras Basah station is part of the Circle Line
and was opened on 17 Apr 2010.
Deepest MRT Station
At 35m below ground level, the Bras Basah station is Singapore’s deepest train station. It is also the station with the longest escalator stretching 41.3m. A reflective pool of water with glass panels outside the SMU was created to reflect sunlight into the station. Bras Basah station is part of the Circle Line
and was opened on 17 Apr 2010.
First Cable Car
The first cable car service from Mount Faber to Sentosa, costing S$5.8 million, was opened on 15 Feb 1974.
First Cable Car System To Span A Harbour
When the Singapore Cable Car opened in 1974, it was the first in the world to go over a harbour.
Worst Cable Car Tragedy
The drillship Eniwetok snagged the cables of the cable car system in 1983, throwing off 2 cable cars and plunging 8 people into the sea, including two-year-old Tasvinder Singh, who was saved by port worker Abdul Latoff Jantan. 13 others trapped in 4 cars were rescued by helicopters.
First Glass-Bottomed Cable Car Cabins
In 1999, Singapore Cable Car became the first in the world to boast glass-bottomed cabins. The cars cost S$30,000 each.
First Cable Car Dining
In 2004, the company introduced the world’s first Sky Dining. Guests can feast on gastronomical delights in a cable car 90m above sea level in view of the setting sun. The two-hour long ride traverses through Harbourfront Tower Two and Sentosa, before heading to The Jewel Box.
First Self-Activated Fireworks From Cable Cars
To celebrate the new year of 2006, guests in cable cars suspended between Mount Faber and Sentosa could activate firework mechanisms installed in the cabins and send showers of luminescence into the starry night. It is a world first.
Singapore’s first civil airport was the Seletar Airbase. The first aircraft landed there in 1928. The first Royal Air Force base outside the United Kingdom was established at Seletar in the same year. Kallang Airport, built in 1937 on reclaimed land at Kallang Basin, was Singapore’s first civilian airport. Paya Lebar Airport was built in 1955 to replace the Kallang Airport.
First Local Post-War Flight Services
Malayan Airways Ltd started operating in 1947 from Kallang Airport, flying from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang. The first plane that took off from Singapore on 1 May 1947 was a twin-engined Airspeed Consul.
First Paying Airline Customer
In 1927, newspaper tycoon W Van Lear Black touched down on Balestier Plain in a single-engine monoplane chartered from KLM in Europe.
First Airline Company
Wearnes Air Services was the first company in the Straits Settlements to provide air postal and passenger flight services. The first commercial flight service between Singapore and Malaya took place on 28 Jun 1937 with 5 passengers travelling to Penang via Kuala Lumpur.
The first immigration checkpoint was built at the Seletar Airport in 1929.
First Aircraft In Singapore
The first time an airplane was flown in Singapore was the demonstration flight by Frenchman M Joseph Christiaens in 1911. The flight took off from the Race Course (now Farrer Park). The first plane that landed in Singapore was a hydroplane which took off from the beach near Meyer Road in 1912. The first overseas flight landed on the Race Course in 1919. It was piloted by Captain Ross Smith from England en route to Australia. The first commercial landing was made by a Dutch KLM plane on 11 Feb 1930 at Seletar carrying 8 passengers from Jakarta. The first overseas scheduled flight to Singapore left London on 9 Dec 1933. It was operated by Imperial Airways. A flight of Hawker Ospreys off the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes were the first aircraft to land at Kallang Airport on 21 Nov 1935.
First Local Airlines
Malayan Airways Ltd changed its name to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines in 1966 after the separation of the two countries in 1965. MSA was jointly owned by the Singapore and Malaysia governments. In 1972, it separated into the present Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airline System.
First Local Pilots
Captain Chan Soon Kin was the first Singaporean to qualify as the pilot of a DC-3 aircraft in Malayan Airways in 1957. He was later the first Singaporean to hold a British pilot’s licence. Flight Lieutenant Tan Kay Hai was the first local to fly with Royal Air Force and to win the Distinguished Flying
First Female Pilots
Teo Ah Hong obtained her commercial pilot’s licence in 1974, at the age of 22. However she could not get employed as a pilot by the airlines and became the first female Singaporean instructor at the Singapore General Aviation Professional Pilots Training School. She also devoted a few years as flying instructor
at the Singapore Youth Flying Club.
First Local Aircraft Stewardess
Rosemary Tay, who joined the Malayan Airways in 1947 was Singapore’s first local air stewardess.
Longest Non-Stop Scheduled Flight
On 28 Jun 2004, a Singapore Airlines Airbus A340-500 aircraft flew non-stop from New York to Singapore, the longest non-stop passenger flight by distance in aviation history. The journey took 18.5 hours and covered a distance of 16,600 miles.
First Commercial Flight On World’s Largest Plane
The Singapore Airlines A380 took off on 25 Oct 2007, with its first commercial flight – SQ380 – from Singapore to Sydney. The brand new A380 super-jumbo departed from Changi Airport at 8am and arrived at Sydney Airport after a flight of 7 and a half hours. The majority of the seats on the 2 legs of this
flight were sold on eBay, the global online marketplace, with all proceeds donated to charities. SIA took delivery of the world’s first A380 on 15 Oct 2007, at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse. The A380 features a brand new cabin class – the Singapore Airlines Suites, ‘a class beyond first’. Together with
Business and Economy Class seats, the SIA A380 has a seating capacity of 471.
First Biometrics-Based Check-In
In 2004, Changi Airport introduced the world’s first biometric system that combines check-in and immigration procedures for departing passengers. The Fully Automated Seamless Travel (FAST) system allows passengers to complete departure formalities in less than 2 minutes using a card embedded with a microchip that contains all facial and fingerprint details. Through a touch-screen monitor, passengers can easily complete and verify their credentials.
First Airline To Offer Free Headsets, Food And Drinks
In 1972, Singapore Airlines was the first airline in the world to offer free headsets, a choice of meals and alcoholic drinks.
Best Airline Brand
Brand Finance’s 2010 report put Singapore Airlines as the world’s leading brand among carriers. Its assessment is based on several factors, including stock
market prices, expected short-term revenues and analysts’ ratings.
First Concorde Service
The first Concorde service was recorded in 1970. Singapore Airlines jointly operated the supersonic service with British Airways. The thrice-weekly Concorde shuttle service between Singapore and London took off from Paya Lebar Airport but survived only 13 months due to high fuel costs.
World’s Largest Aircraft
The largest passenger aircraft is the Airbus 380, manufactured by EADS (Airbus SAS). It started service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. It has a wingspan of 79.8m and a maximum designed take off weight of 560 tons. It has a range of 15,000 km and a maximum fuel capacity is 310,000 litres. It will
normally be fitted with around 555 seats but a maximum seating capacity of 853 is possible, depending on the interior fuselage fit.
First Custom-Built Hangar For Airbus A380
Singapore is home to the world’s first custom-built hangar for the Airbus 380. It cost SIA Engineering Co S$50 million to build the A380 facility at Changi. The hangar measures 100m by 100m and can be automatically adjusted to dock the Boeing 777 jet – a feature that is the first in the world.
In the last 5 years, Changi Airport was selected as the world’s best airport by about 20 travel publications and organisations. Terminal One of the Changi Airport was completed in 1981, Terminal Two was completed in 1990 and Terminal Three in 2008.
First Commercial Airline To Land At Changi Airport
Singapore Airlines Boeing 747, flight SQ 692 was the first commercial airline to land at the new Changi Airport Terminal One on 12 May 1981. SIA’s flight SQ 23 from Amsterdam and Zurich was the first aircraft to land at Changi Airport Terminal Two on 22 Nov 1990.
Largest Airport Terminal
Opened on 9 Jan 2008, Changi Airport’s Terminal Three is the biggest at 380,000 sq m and can handle 22 million passengers a year. It was built at a cost of S$1.75 billion.
Largest Shopping Mall
Changi Airport is the largest shopping mall in terms of sales. It has been estimated that about 70 percent of all travellers buy or eat something at Changi. It has one of the highest concession revenues per passenger in the world.
Most Exclusive Jet Chartering Company
In 1993, Logan Ravishankar founded MyJetAsia, an aircraft charter company that leases out Gulfstreams and Learjets to wealthy individuals. It offers the most exclusive jet service in the region with charter fees starting from S$152,000 for a weekend trip from Singapore to Melbourne.
First Budget Terminal
The Budget Terminal at Changi is the first terminal in Asia dedicated to serving budget airlines. It opened in 2006 and closeded in 2012.
First Budget Airline
Valuair, Singapore’s first privately-owned budget airline, was launched on 5 May 2004. Singapore’s second budget airline Tiger Airways, was launched on 31 Aug 2004. Valuair merged with Jetstar Asia, the country’s third budget airline, on 24 Jul 2005 to form Orange Star.
Largest Budget Airline
Tiger Airways, started in 2004, serves the Asia-Pacific region and flies to airports within a 4-hour radius of Singapore. It flies to 35 destinations in 9 countries.
Longest Air Cargo
The National Forwarder transported a 22.3m slip joint for an oil rig to Chennai, India on board an SIA cargo plane on 4 Mar 2008. The previous record was a 21.3m Christmas tree flown from USA for display at Orchard Road.
First Air Accidents
Singapore’s first air accident occurred on 17 Feb 1931. Flying Officer Davis and Corporal Boyce were killed when the Hawker Horsley Bomber plane crashed into the sea off Seletar Air Force Base. The accident happened 30 min after take-off. The first civilian air crash took place on 13 Mar 1954 when a Qantas-BOAC aircraft touched down at the Kallang Airport. 2 crew members and 31 passengers were killed.
Largest Aerospace MRO Hub
Singapore is the largest aerospace Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) hub in Asia, with an output of S$7.1 billion and employing 19,000 people in 2008. It is the first MRO centre in the world that can maintain the Trent 900 engine.
Heaviest Air Cargo
The National Forwarder packed a 32-ton, 63-foot riser tensioner of deep-sea drilling vessel Chikyu into a Korean Airline 747-400 freighter for Frankfurt on 18 Aug 2007. It took up 12 main-deck pallet positions in the aircraft. A 150-ton crane was required to do this loading.
The official opening ceremony of the National Day Carnival at The Bay at the Marina City Park saw the first flight of an airship in Singapore. The StarHub Lightship, illuminated at night, is 39m long and 14m high. Its top speed is 88 kph. It is filled with helium and powered by two 75-hp Limbach engines.
Worst Air Disaster
On 19 Dec 1997, a SilkAir Boeing 737-300 crashed into a river about 56 km north of Palembang while flying from Jakarta to Singapore. All 7 crew members and 97 passengers were killed on Flight 185.
First Circumnavigation Of Singapore
Resident John Crawfurd conducted the first circumnavigation of Singapore from 2-11 Aug 1825, on instructions from the Bengal government to take formal possession of the island under the terms of the Treaty signed in 1824.
First Port Master
Francis James Bernard, son-in-law of Willliam Farquhar, was appointed Master Attendant in 1819, to take charge of the harbour. When Raffles’ brother-in-law, Captain William Lawrence Flint, arrived in 1820, he immediately took over the position.
First Vessels To Arrive
The Indiana, commanded by James Pearl, brought Sir Stamford Raffles and William Farquhar from Penang to Singapore on 18 Jan 1819. The first Chinese junk to arrive after Raffles, came from Amoy, China in Feb 1821. The first steamship, the Van Der Capellan, a Dutch vessel, called at Singapore on 17 Apr 1827. The first mail steamer was the Lady Mary Wood which arrived on 4 Aug 1845. The 5,010-ton Murex which arrived on Sep 1892 with a cargo of 4,720 tons of kerosene, was the first tanker.
First Vessel Built
A 100-ton schooner, Sree Singapura, was launched in May 1839 and was the first vessel built in Singapore.
First Regular Steamship Service
Paddle steamers Bromo and Koningen of the Netherlands India Steamboat Co offered monthly service between Singapore and Batavia (Jakarta) in the 1930s.
The first dry dock was built in 1859 by Captain William Cloughton and was known as the No.1 Dock.
The first commercial pier was built by P&O Steam Navigation Co at Tebing Tinggi in Keppel Harbour in 1852.
First International Shipping Line
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P&O) was started in Europe in 1822. In 1845, its regular steamer service was extended to Malaya, Singapore and China.
First Dock Company
Wealthy rice and tin merchant Tan Kim Ching, son of Tan Tock Seng, founded Tanjong Pagar Dock Co in 1863 with $120,000. He also purchased two steamships, Siam and Singapore. In 1868, the company opened a graving dock for ship repair together with a 300m wharf. In 1879, the Albert Dock was opened and the wharves were extended. The whole harbour, called New Harbour, was renamed Keppel Harbour in 1900.
Most Notorious Ship To Call
The Confederate battle cruiser Alabama was the most controversial ship to call at the Singapore harbour. It arrived on 22 Dec 1863, having just burned several American trading vessels near the Sunda Straits. After leaving Singapore, it burned a British-registered boat.
Largest Pleasure Boat Builder
GB Yachts is the largest pleasure boat builder in South-East Asia. It built its first Grand Banks in 1969 in Jurong. Its facilities are now at Loyang Crescent and Pasir Gudang.
First Singapore-Registered Ship
The 7,332-ton freighter Golden Wonder was unfurled on 23 Sep 1966. Owned by Guan Guan Shipping Co, it was the first to carry the Singapore flag.
Largest Ship To Arrive
The largest ship of any kind is the oil tanker Jahre Viking (formerly the Happy Giant and Seawise Giant), at 564,763 tons deadweight and 260,815 grt. Declared a total loss after severe bombardment in 1987-1988 during the Iran-Iraq war, the 458.45m tanker underwent extensive renovation in Singapore and was relaunched under its new name in Nov 1991.
Worst Shipyard Accident
A welder, using a torch to cut through rusty screws ignited oil vapours in the Greek tanker, Spyros, in 1978. The resulting explosion killed 76 people and injured 69.
Largest Tug Operator
With a fleet of more than 60 modern and highly maneuverable harbour tugs, PSA Marine is the largest harbour tug owner and operator in Asia.
First Trimaran Yacht
Based in Singapore, the 61m White Rabbit Echo, owned by Goh Cheng Liang, is the world’s first trimaran megayacht. Her innovative design offers space and stability, and has attracted international attention. The 50-foot beam provides enormous interior space and, in a break from tradition, the 5 guest staterooms are upstairs, above the main deck.
Longest Grommet Sling
The world’s longest grommet sling measures 110m long, with a diameter of 192 mm. It was constructed in June 2003 by Franklin Offshore International, a market leader in lifting and mooring equipment. The sling has a calculated grommet breaking load of 3,070 tons.
Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd completed Singapore’s first 2 icebreakers in 2008. They were the first in Asia to be built for Russia’s oil company LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft. The vessels were named Toboy and Varandey.
The 88m Asean Lady is the only yacht in the world whose design is based on a proa, a traditional outrigger canoe commonly used in the South Pacific. Her configuration provides 20,000 sq ft of space and is powered by a single 2000-hp Caterpillar diesel, cruising comfortably at 15 knots. Singaporean owner Brian Chang had Asean Lady built in his Yantai Raffles shipyard, and moored at Raffles Marina.
Largest Cruise Ship To Port In Singapore
The Legend of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International, weighing 70,000 tons and with passenger capacity of 2,076, is the largest cruise ship to have ported in Singapore. Its facilities include a golf course, a theater and cinema, a solarium, pools, a dance centre, a skating ring and a rock-climbing wall.
World’s Busiest Container Port
Vessel arrival tonnage at the Singapore port was a record 2.12 billion gross tons in 2011 (up 10.5 per cent from 2010). Total bunker sales in 2011 was 43.15 million tons, while container throughput was 29.94 million TEUs. The maritime sector contributed 7 percent to GDP and employed 170,000 people.
Most Connected Seaport
PSA’s terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, Brani and Pasir Panjang served 200 shipping lines, which offer connections to 600 ports in 123 countries. This made Singapore the world’s most connected seaport. Over 120,000 vessels call at the port annually.
First Port Wireless Broadband
From early 2008, the Singapore port has been offering wireless broadband connectivity from as far as 15 km away off its coastline. Vessels in the port are able to submit documentation, make requests related to bunkering and other maritime needs online.
Largest Shipping And Logistics Group
Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) is among the world’s largest integrated cargo transportation and logistics companies. It has a global strength of around 11,000 employees spread across 104 countries, and revenues of US$9.2 billion in 2011. In 1997, NOL acquired APL, which was then America’s oldest and best known shipping company.
Largest Ferry Operator
Penguin Ferry Services currently transports close to 10,000 passengers a day between Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun.
Largest Vessel Owner
Maritime giant AP Moller Maersk started out in Singapore in 1978 with only a fleet of 2 ships. By 2011, it owned about 120 vessels and rigs, capable of 6 million gross tonnage or around 10 percent of those in the Singapore Registry of Ships.
First Comprehensive B2B Port And Shipping Portal
Implemented in 1984, PSA’s Portnet system is a nationwide, ¬business-to-business port and shipping ¬e-community to provide integrated services to shipping lines, hauliers, freight forwarders, shippers and local government agencies in Singapore. The internet-enabled system currently has 7,000 users generating nearly 70 million transactions a year. It enables anyone in the world to track vessels and cargo on a 24-hr, paperless and real-time basis.
First Submarine Cable
In 1871, the Eastern Extension Company laid a submarine cable linking Singapore with Madras, thus allowing telegraphic communication with Europe.
World’s Busiest Transhipment Port
The Singapore port handled 25.14 million TEUs of containers in 2009. About one-fifth of the world’s total container transhipment through- put passed through the Singapore terminals.
Largest Tanker Operator
Tanker Pacific is the largest privately owned tanker operator. Founded in 1990, Tanker Pacific specialises in maritime transportation of petroleum, as well as management of offshore storage terminals. It manages a fleet of 80 vessels.