Business Aircraft Operations to Shanghai – Part 1: Airports, Curfews & Parking

PT 3 M minute read
Business Aircraft Operations to Shanghai – Part 1: Airports, Curfews & Parking

This is a post by author Jennifer Cai. Jennifer serves as the Operations Supervisor for Universal Aviation China in Shanghai. Universal Aviation China has aircraft ground handling facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Jennifer can be contacted at

This business aviation blog post is part one in a series on operations to Shanghai.

Shanghai is served by two airports – Hongqiao (ZSSS) and Pudong (ZSPD) – with each having different general aviation (GA) access and parking considerations. While ZSSS has the best GA infrastructure, it’s now become the more difficult of the two airfields in terms of accessibility.

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

1. Airport hours

ZSSS is open to scheduled commercial operations 0600-0100 local while ZSPD has 24/7 availability. However, curfews limit GA access. ZSPD is available to GA 22 hours per day, other than between 0700-0900 local. In the case of ZSSS curfew, restrictions are much more stringent. GA operators may only land/takeoff at ZSSS only between 0600-0659 local and 2200-0100 local—these curfew times were implemented earlier this year. Note that overtime is never available for after hour GA operations.

2. Peak hour periods

Both Shanghai airports restrict GA operators to a single movement, either landing or takeoff, during the peak hour period 0900-2200 local. If you land at either ZSSS or ZSPD after 0900 local you may not depart until after 2200 local that day. Peak hour restriction can challenge crew duty day limitations, particularly for charter (non-scheduled commercial).

3. Aircraft parking

At ZSSS GA parking is officially limited to 72 hours. However, you may apply to park in the Centralized Parking Area where there are no length of stay restrictions, but aircraft size restrictions apply. For example, you may park up to a 5 series Gulfstream in this area but not the larger 6 series equipment. If you wish to park at ZSSS for an extended stay it’s best to apply as soon as your schedule is known. Over at ZSPD, GA parking is officially restricted to two consecutive overnights. The airport authority will entertain requests for extended parking at this location, but usually only for one additional night.

4. Parking alternates

For longer term stays, or if parking should become an issue at either ZSSS or ZSPD, alternates to consider include Nanjing (ZSNJ) and Hangzhou (ZSHC). Airport slots and parking are relatively easy to obtain at these airports of entry (AOEs).

5. GA infrastructure and GSE

ZSSS has a full service fixed-base operator (FBO) where customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) is cleared. As ZSPD has no FBO or general aviation terminal (GAT), all passengers/crew clear via the main terminal. Ground handlers at both Shanghai airports are well stocked in terms of ground support equipment (GSE) and are able to accommodate virtually all models of GA equipment.

6. Directional restrictions to Shanghai airports

Operators may arrive or depart ZSPD from/to any direction. However, in the case of ZSSS you will not be permitted to land/takeoff if you’re arriving from/departing to the north or northeast. For example, you may not fly to or from Anchorage (PANC) and use ZSSS. Additionally, it’s not allowable to fly between ZSSS and ZSPD.

7. Additional Reading: Shanghai operations – Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


Shanghai is generally an easier location to operate to and park than other regional airports including Hong Kong (VHHH) and Beijing (ZBAA). Apart from significant curfew restrictions at ZSSS, operators report few planning or day of operation issues when traveling to Shanghai. However, parking at these airports are in high demand and may require you to reposition to an alternate airport.

Stay tuned to Part 2, which covers permits, airports slots, customs, and immigration 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

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