ABACE 2017 – Operating to Shanghai: Part 1: Airports, Parking & Slots

ABACE 2017 – Operating to Shanghai: Part 1: Airports, Parking & Slots

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating to Shanghai during ABACE.

This is a post by author Cynthia Zhang. Cynthia serves as Managing Director for Universal Aviation China, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Cynthia can be contacted at cynthiazhang@univ-wea.com.

The 2017 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) takes place at Shanghai Hongqiao (ZSSS) Apr 11-13. As this is widely considered as the main annual event for business aviation in the region, you can expect an influx of general aviation (GA) traffic into Shanghai during this time.

If you are planning on operating into China for this event, the following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Airport options

Primary airports for general aviation (GA) operating to ABACE are ZSSS and Shanghai Pudong (ZSPD). Alternate airports to consider, should parking or length of stay become issues, include Hangzhou Xiaoshan (ZSHC) and Nanjing Lukou (ZSNJ), at 86 and 151 miles from ZSSS respectively. All the above are airports of entry (AOEs) and offer full business aviation support services.

2. Operating hours

  • ZSSS0600-0100 local
  • ZSPD24 hours
  • ZSHC 24 hours for domestic fights and 0830-2300 local for international operations
  • ZSNJ 24 hours for domestic flights and 0830-2300 for international operations

Note that GA flights are not permitted to takeoff/land at either ZSSS or ZSPD 0700-0900 local daily.

3. Slot requirements and deviations

All the above locations require airport slots for arrival/departure. Slots are approved together with your landing permit, and two business days lead time is required. Note that slot deviation is -0/+5 hours. In other words, you may not land/takeoff earlier than slot time, but a slot delay of up to five hours is permitted. However, if you wish to delay your operation to the next day, you’ll need a new permit.

4. Daily slot limitations

Be mindful that at both ZSSS and ZSPD foreign-registered GA flights are only permitted one movement – either a takeoff or landing – during peak hours of 0801-2200 local within the same day. For example, if you land at 0900 local you’ll won’t be able to depart until after 2200 local. However, such restrictions are not in place for either ZSHC or ZSNJ.

5. ZSSS considerations

To reduce crossing of flight paths, GA flights to/from the northeast or east (from/to North America, Japan or Korea for example) may not takeoff or land at ZSSS without special approval. However, exceptions may be allowed for those operators bringing aircraft to ABACE for the static display. During the Apr 11-13 ABACE period no GA operations to ZSSS will be permitted for aircraft not participating at the show.

6. Parking restrictions

Note that during the exhibit period ZSSS will only accept GA aircraft that will be on static display at ABACE. To confirm parking you’ll first need to provide an invitation letter or similar documentation from the organizers to obtain landing permission and parking approval at ZSSS. As GA parking issues can be anticipated at ZSPD it’s best to have contingency plans for ZSHC or ZSNJ. ZSHC is the closest alternate to ZSSS, about a 2.5 hour drive. Tianjin (ZBTJ), close to Beijing, is really too far away at about 591 miles and 14 hours driving time, to be considered a practical alternate for ZSSS.


If you’re not attending ABACE as an exhibitor or a static display participant it’s unlikely you’ll be able to obtain landing permission or parking approval at ZSSS. Plan to land/park at ZSPD, if a parking stand is available, or reposition to either ZSHC or ZSNJ.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers permits, customs, immigration, and visas when traveling to Shanghai.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Shanghai, contact me at cynthiazhang@univ-wea.com.