Bizjet Operations into Singapore – Part 1: Airports, Slots & Parking
This is a post by author Yvonne Chan. Yvonne is managing director for Universal Aviation Singapore, which has an aircraft ground-handling facility in Seletar. Yvonne is an expert on business aircraft operations in Singapore and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is part one of a two-article series on Singapore airport changes.
Business aviation traffic is up in Singapore over recent years, and this trend will continue. While the airport slot and parking situation is still very manageable, increasing competition for limited aviation support infrastructure should be anticipated.
Below are a number of items to consider when traveling to Singapore:
1. Singapore has two available airports
General Aviation (GA) has a choice of two airports in Singapore: Changi (WSSS) and Seletar (WSSL). While a large percentage of operators prefer WSSS, many choose to operate to WSSL where conditions are less restrictive.
2. WSSS airport information
WSSS is a 24-hour Airport of Entry (AOE) with airport slot requirements, but no operating curfews. The runway length for this airport is 13,123 ft. Be advised that securing the exact slot times you request is often not possible. Also, aircraft parking at WSSS is restricted to 48 hours, with opportunity for parking extension, but this is seldom possible. Additionally, charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators (with few exceptions) are discouraged from using WSSS. In certain cases, if you’re dropping off/picking up passengers from a commercial flight, charter operators may be permitted to land and remain briefly at WSSS. However, overnight parking for charter flights is not permitted at this airport. Private non-revenue operators can park at this airport but have to abide by the 48-hour parking limitation. Overall costs of using WSSS are typically higher than at WSSL, but WSSS offers slightly lower fuel pricing.
3. Slot considerations for WSSS
Airport slots for WSSS are applied for via an online system controlled by Changi Airport Group. Your ground handler will use this system to apply for slots on behalf of operators. Application for slots at WSSS may be submitted no earlier than seven days prior to arrival/departure. Once slots are confirmed, a reply will be forwarded by e-mail. Confirmed slots have +/- one-hour validity.
WSSS has a convenient mass rapid transit train into the city center and easy accessibility to taxis.
4. WSSL airport information
WSSL is an AOE with no airport slot requirements. The runway is 6,024 ft., and operating curfews at this location are as follows:
Scheduled maintenance closure of Runway 03/21:
a. Between 1600 and 2300 , first Friday of every month (If the first Friday happens to be a public holiday, then it will be the second Friday.) Runway will be closed to all traffic except medivac and emergency flights. Advance notice of 30 minutes is required for emergency opening of the runway.
b. Between 0500 and 0515, 1030 and 1045, and 2300 and 2315 daily for runway inspection. Aircraft should expect delays.
c. Between 1600 and 1800 every Tuesday and Friday of every month. The runway will be closed to all traffic except medevac and emergency flights. Advance notice of 30 minutes is required for emergency opening of the runway.
Travel options to/from WSSL are somewhat restrictive compared to those to/from WSSS as WSSL is in a somewhat isolated location and it’s more challenging to obtain a taxi in that area. For WSSL operations it’s always best to have your ground handler confirm taxi or prepaid transport (car with driver) in advance.
5. Parking considerations – both airports
WSSS limits all GA parking to a maximum of 48 hours. If you wish to stay at this airport longer, you’ll need to reposition your aircraft if the parking extension is approved. All parking stands at WSSS are remote, and your ground handler will organize transport from the aircraft to the customs, immigration, and quarantine clearance area for international arrivals. WSSL, on the other hand, has no parking limitations in terms of length of stay, and you’ll usually be able to park close to the fixed-based operator to drop off/pick up passengers. If you stay on the ground at WSSL more than three hours, however, your aircraft will need to be towed to the “compact parking area.” Be mindful that advance arrangement must be made for parking in the compact parking area, and no services, including fueling, may be performed at this parking location. While WSSS does not have hangar space available for transient GA operations, WSSL has limited hangar availability, with advance arrangement.
It’s recommended that charter operators travel to WSSL only – to avoid permit, slot, and parking issues. Private non-revenue operators are encouraged to use WSSL as there’s less congestion, no parking time limits, and generally lower costs. Be mindful, however, that WSSL has only a 6,024-ft. runway and the airport is subject to curfew closure hours.
Later, we’ll discuss landing permit, customs, and immigration requirements for travel to Singapore.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Singapore, contact me at email@example.com.