Ops Update: Singapore Charter Landing Permit Changes
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.
Permit changes that impact the permit application process for business aviation recently went into effect for Singapore. It’s important to be aware of lead times, required documentation, and permit processing nuances in order to ensure smooth operations to this increasingly popular Southeast Asian business destination.
The following is an overview of what you need to know about the permit changes for Singapore:
1. General permit requirements
Singapore has two airports of entry available to general aviation: Changi (WSSS) and Seletar (WSSL). All international flights to Singapore and over Singapore territory are subject to current Singapore regulations relating to Civil Aviation. These regulations imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) correspond to Standards and Recommended Practices contained in Article 9 of the International Civil Aviation Organization convention. While private non-revenue flights do not require landing permits, all charter (non-scheduled commercial) and air ambulance operations must have certain permit approvals, which are referred to as "Operations Permits" and "Air Transport Permits."
2. Charter permit specifics
Foreign charter operators flying to Singapore now require both an Operations Permit and an Air Transport Permit. These permit requests should be submitted to the CAAS at least three business days prior to operation.
3. New slot rules
New rule changes mandate that airport slots may only be obtained after you’ve obtained an Operations Permit and an Air Transport Permit. Previously, it was possible to request and obtain airport slots along with landing permits. Operations Permits typically take less than a week to process and require that you provide in advance crew medical certificates/licenses, as well as certified, true copies of your air operator certificate, airworthiness and registration certificates, and worldwide insurance. Once your Operations and Air Transport permits are approved, airport slots are usually easy to obtain because your information is on file, and you’ve been "cleared" to operate into Singapore.
4. New permit process
To operate to Singapore as a charter, as of June 17, 2013, be aware that you’ll need both an Operations Permit and an Air Transport Permit. The Air Transport Permit replaces the need for a landing permit. To apply for an Air Transport Permit, CAAS will provide you with access to an online system known as "ATLAS," where operators must specify in the permit request the ground handler being used. Once you have your Air Transport Permit, you may obtain airport slots into/out of the particular airport. The ground handler can obtain these on your behalf. Be aware that these slots may take several hours to obtain, and available slot times may differ from what you’ve requested, due to current/anticipated traffic conditions.
5. Slot procedures
Airport slots are obtained online, using a login ID and password, after you’ve obtained an Air Transport permit. Operators need to ensure they arrive/depart as per slot times provided. Earliest you may request airport slots is seven calendar days prior to your estimated time of arrival. All slot requests, however, must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival. Short-notice requests are often possible, but that is at discretion of airport authorities, based on anticipated traffic volume. In some cases slot availability for Singapore may be very limited, and operators may need to change schedule in order to work with available slot options.
6. Operations Permit process
Step 1 – New operators on ATLAS must create an account with CAAS by way of an airline registration form. You may send this directly to CAAS via e-mail or do this through your 3rd-party provider
Step 2 – Once the account has been created by CAAS, the operator must proceed to the ATLAS website to register as a "new user" with a unique user ID and password
Step 3 – Operators must log into this site and specify their ground handler, if the operators wish to have the ground handler apply for permits on the operators’ behalf
Step 4 – Normal processing time for a Singapore Operations Permit is three business days. Once an Operations Permit has been approved, you will then need to apply for the Air Transport permit, and this can be done within a day.
Operations Permits normally allow up to 20 aircraft to be registered. In the case of a short-notice Operations Permit application, however, no more than five aircraft may be listed on the permit. For tech stops in Singapore, no Operations Permit is required. Additionally, no Operations Permit is needed for private non-revenue flights.
7. Permit validity and revisions
Permit validity depends on frequency of your flights to Singapore. Operations Permits are typically valid for three to 12 months. Note that Air Transport Permits are valid for only one specified operation. Revisions to Air Transport permits are only necessary when there’s a change to the date of operation.
8. Documentation requirements
Charter operators must ensure that all documents are submitted with the permit application. Some of the documentation needed is the airworthiness and registration certificate, recent maintenance logs, and a picture of the aircraft. When applying for an Operations Permit, you’ll need to state the purpose of your flight – i.e., charter, air ambulance, etc.
9. Ramp checks
Upon landing in Singapore, be aware that CAAS may conduct random crew and aircraft documentation checks. These checks have become more frequent over recent months and are usually conducted after passengers have left the aircraft. Ramp checks typically take 10 minutes or so to complete, and it’s important to have all required documents readily available. Following a ramp check, CAAS will e-mail their findings to your ground handler, who will forward it to the crew.
10. Short-notice permit requests
Express (urgent) Operations Permit requests may be considered as long as there are no safety factors associated in respect to the applicant. If safety considerations are noted, CAAS may request additional information. New operators, in some cases, may not be considered for express permit purposes if they don’t have an Operations Permit on file.
11. Information/documentation requirements
For any operation to Singapore, it’s important to have certified true copies of certificates of aircraft airworthiness and registration, as well as worldwide liability insurance, onboard. It’s important to ensure that all documents and information provided are valid, current, and accurate. In some cases having the certification and a letter of authorization may impact how a permit is processed. This, however, will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Recent changes to Singapore permit regulations and processes impact charter operations. It’s important that all planned "for-hire" operations to Singapore have the required Operations Permit, as well as an Air Transport Permit, prior to requesting airport slots.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Singapore, contact me at email@example.com.