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.
The 2016 Singapore Airshow takes place February 16-21 at the Changi Exhibition Center. This top ranking biennial aviation event always draws large crowds of trade attendees and higher than normal volumes of business aviation flight activity. Planning for parking, accommodations and – when required – permits should be arranged as early as possible.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Changi Air Base
Changi Air Base (WSAC) , located next to Singapore Changi (WSSS), will only be available between 0700 and 1900 local for the Singapore Airshow and static display participants. This military installation on the eastern side of the airport has a dedicated 2,750 meter (9,022 foot) runway that’s not connected to WSSS by taxiways or roads. Only aircraft arriving to participate in the airshow static and flying displays will be permitted to land and park at WSAC. For general aviation (GA) aircraft not participating in the airshow will need to land and park at WSSS or Seletar (WSSL). Be mindful that when filing flight plans to the Changi Air Base you’ll need to use the ICAO "WSSS" and indicate in Remarks section 18 that you’re coming in for the airshow static display using the verbiage "Participating in Singapore Airshow 2016."
2. Parking at Changi Air Base
Although it’s anticipated that the Air Base static display ramp will fill up fast, parking availability will be guaranteed for all aircraft participating in the Airshow. An Airshow event team will coordinate with the military to put together a list of participating aircraft pre-approved to operate to Air Base side for this event. Note that military authorities will only deal directly with event organizers, and not with individual operators or local ground handlers. All GA parking will be restricted to static display areas of the Air Base with no aircraft permitted to remain overnight on military ramp areas.
3. WSSS and WSSL
GA parking availability at WSSS will be very limited during the Airshow period. Also, be mindful that GA parking at WSSS is limited to 48 hours. However, operators parked at the Air Base will not be affected by this 48 hour parking limitation. We expect most operators planning to attend the airshow will choose to park at WSSL where parking availability should not be an issue. While WSSL has ample parking capacity you’ll likely be positioned in higher density “compact parking areas” during the airshow period. Note that there’s no hangar availability for transient GA movements at WSSS and only limited hangar capacity at WSSL.
4. Increased traffic
We anticipate that some Airshow related traffic will begin arriving to WSSL up to five days prior to the Airshow and remain in country two days or so after the show wraps up. As WSSS only allows GA parking up to 48 continuous hours there’ll likely be considerable repositioning activity between the two airports. Note that for operators traveling to either WSSS or WSSL, crews do not need to be present if and when an aircraft needs to be relocated on the ramp.
5. Peak hours, airport closures and curfews
Peak hours of operation at WSSS are 0700-1000 and 1600-1900 local. Be aware that NOTAMs will be issued for WSSS to cover daily airshow flying periods. For more information on closures see the Singapore Air Supplement 166/15.
It’s important to be aware of daily runway closures that will take place at WSSS and to avoid arriving/departing during these times. Also, be mindful that any aircraft operating to Singapore must be noise certified at Stage 3 or better.
6. Permit requirements
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) mandates landing permits for charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights, but does not require permits for private non-revenue operations. Note that foreign registered charters flying to Singapore must apply for and obtain prior approval from CAAS, in the form of an Operations permit and Air Transport (AT) permit. An Operations permit requires a minimum lead time of three business days to obtain, while AT permits involve only about 24 hours’ notice, subject to CAAS approval. CAAS’s airworthiness department processes Operations permits while CAAS’s commercial department processes AT permits. Note that permit revisions must always be requested if operating schedule is brought forward or delayed by more than a day. Do also note that any aircraft operating without the standard certificate of airworthiness will need to apply for a special certificate with CAAS. This will take generally about two weeks to process so it’s recommended that this be started as soon as the schedule is known.
7. Permit documentation
To obtain the Operations and AT permits, the following documentation must be submitted to CAAS:
- Air operator certificate (AOC)
- Associated operations specifications
- Certificate of Airworthiness (or Airworthiness Review Certificate)
- Certificate of registration
- Certificate of worldwide insurance
- Noise certificate or equivalent document indicating minimum ICAO Annex 16 Chapter 3 compliance
- Latest maintenance release
- Aging aircraft program approve by the aircraft State of registry if the aircraft is more than 20 years old
8. Airport slots
Airport slots are required for WSSS and may be applied for up to seven days prior to operation. Slot arrangements are normally coordinated by your ground handler. Approval notices are provided once airport slots are confirmed, and slot deviation at WSSS is +/- one hour.
9. CIQ clearance
All aircraft operating to the Changi Air Base will be parked at a remote parking bay. Passengers and crew will be transported by bus to the Airshow site where a customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) processing station will be set up to process arrivals/departures and screen luggage. Bus transport from the Air Base to the CIQ clearance area may take up to 20 minutes, but we expect the actual clearance process to only require about five minutes. Following CIQ clearance at this special site, passengers and crew can access their pre-booked local ground transport at the main Airshow entrance. Public taxis can also pick up at this point, without restrictions.
For operators not traveling to the Air Base, the process at both WSSS and WSSL is done via a GA terminal. Note that there is a fee for using the GA terminal.
10. Aircraft services
Fuel and full GA aircraft support services will be available at the Changi Air Base. We recommend providing at least 24 hours lead time for catering orders, particularly if special requests are involved. For fuel uplift, trucks will be available to service remote parking bay areas at the Air Base. However, fueling delays may be anticipated on the final day of the Airshow as many aircraft will be departing at about the same time.
11. Hotel considerations
The Singapore Airshow is always a busy time, and preferred hotel accommodations may be limited for those booking on short notice. It’s recommended to confirm crew accommodations as early as possible. Travel time from either WSSS or WSSL to the city center is about 30-40 minutes where 4-star hotel accommodations will likely average about 300 USD.
12. Additional information
Additional information on Singapore Airshow 2016 can be found at on the official website.
The Singapore Airshow is a popular event that will likely see high traffic. Operators that are part of the static and flying displays will be able to park at the Air Base, but permission for this can only be done through the event organizers. Operators attending this event or just traveling to Singapore during this period will need to travel to WSSS or WSSL. It’s recommended that operators start the process as soon as a schedule is known, in order to make necessary service arrangements. Also, charter operators need to consider permit requirements when traveling to this country.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Singapore, contact me at email@example.com.
About Yvonne Chan
Yvonne Chan has nearly two decades of experience in business aviation and is an expert on ground and flight operations in Singapore. Yvonne, who first joined Universal in 1992, currently serves as Country Manager for Universal Aviation Singapore, where she has been instrumental in helping Universal Aviation establish other locations in the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Singapore, Yvonne is fluent in English, Mandarin and several local dialects. Yvonne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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