Traveling to ABACE in Shanghai – Part 1: Airport, Parking & Services

Traveling to ABACE in Shanghai – Part 1: Airport, Parking & Services

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

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operations to ABACE 2018.

Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) takes place at Shanghai Hongqiao (ZSSS) Apr 17-19, 2018. One of the most prominent and high-value events in the international business aviation exhibition circuit ABACE is expected to draw over 8000 attendees from 51 countries, along with some 165 exhibitors and 30 static display aircraft. For those planning to attend via general aviation (GA) it’s recommended to begin the planning process early.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Primary airport

ZSSS is the ABACE2018 venue and the preferred airport for GA arrivals and parking. This is a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with a fixed-base operator (FBO), full GA support services, fuel and credit. Landing permits and airport slots are required for every operation to ZSSS and at least two business days lead time is recommended for requests. Although permits and slots can generally be approved with less lead time this cannot be guaranteed. Note that slots are normally approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) simultaneously with your landing permit.

2. ZSSS curfews and parking

Note that there’s an operating curfew in effect at ZSSS 0000-0600 local. Additionally, no GA equipment are permitted to take off/land 0700-0900 local. During ABACE2018 be mindful that overnight GA parking will only be possible for registered ABACE exhibitors/attendees. If you’re flying to Shanghai for other business during this time period you’ll need to arrange to park elsewhere. GA flights into ZSSS are normally not permitted to park for more than 72 consecutive hours. However, there may be exceptions for registered airshow attendees during this event period.

3. ZSSS access restrictions

In order to reduce crossing of flight paths in the Shanghai area, GA flights to/from the northeast and east are not normally permitted to take off or land at ZSSS. So, if you’re flying in from North America or Japan for example, you’ll likely need to land at Shanghai Pudong (ZSPD). While there may be certain exceptions to this mandate during the Airshow period nothing has yet been published.

4. Airspace restrictions

Note that no direct GA operations may be made between Taiwan and China unless the aircraft is registered to either Taiwan or China. For example, if you need to fly from Taipei (RCTP) to ZSSS, it will be necessary to operate via a third country, perhaps Hong Kong, Macau or Korea.

5. Shanghai Pudong

ZSPD is the main commercial airport for Shanghai and it’s a 24-hour AOE. While this location does not have an FBO, full support services, parking, fuel and credit are available to GA.

6. Alternate airports

If you’re not able to arrange parking at either ZSSS or ZSPD then Hangzhou (ZSHC) and Nanjing (ZSNJ) are the best parking alternates to consider. Note that ZSHC and ZSNJ operate as domestic airports 24/7 and only accept international arrivals/departures 0830-2300 local. Airport overtime requests, for international arrivals/departures, are possible but not guaranteed. Note that at both airfields GA operations are not permitted 0700-0900 local daily. Neither ZSHC or ZSNJ mandate slots or prior permission required (PPR) and GA parking availability is generally good. To travel between Hangzhou and Shanghai plan on about a 1.5 hour drive or just less than 1 hour via high speed rail link. ZSNJ has an FBO, while ZSHC doesn’t.

7. Fuel and credit

When operating to and within China it’s best to carry fuel releases and confirm uplift requests with your ground handler at least 24 hours prior. At certain locations fuel and aviation cards may be accepted on sight, but this should always be confirmed in advance. While fuel deliveries are generally on time at major AOEs there may be uplift delays, from time to time, during peak operating hours.

8. Additional Reading: Operating Requirements

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


It should not be an issue for registered ABACE attendees to secure GA parking at either ZSSS or ZSPD, although there may be additional steps involved depending upon desired length of stay. To help ensure preferred parking options it’s best to provide the local handler with your ABACE participation documentation prior to arrival.

Later, we will discuss landing permits, airport slots, customs, immigration and visas when operating to ABACE 2018.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to China, contact me at