Shanghai, China: 2024 Business Aviation Destination Guide

PT 6 M minute read

Shanghai is the largest city in China and one of the largest in the world, with a large number of international corporations and businesses operating in the region. As a result, the city has become a hub for business aviation, with a high volume of private jets and other business aircraft visiting each year.

With the country’s reopening to foreign visitors in 2023, the city is poised for a massive rebound in international traffic.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Shanghai Area Airport Options

Shanghai is served by two highly congested airports – Hongqiao (ZSSS) with a curfew of 1601-2200Z(0001-0600LT) each day and Pudong (ZSPD)  24-hour– with each having different general aviation (GA) access and parking considerations.

Historically, ZSPD was primarily geared toward scheduled commercial airlines. It is located about 20 miles east of Shanghai and about a one-hour drive into the city center.

ZSSS is around seven miles north of the city, about a 25-minute drive to the city center.

Pudong Airport (ZSPD)

Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

Curfews, Slots, Parking & PPR

Pudong is a 24-hour Airport of Entry. ZSPD is available to GA 22 hours per day, other than between 0700-0900 local. During peak hours (0900-2200 LCL) GA aircraft are limited to one movement per tail number (one arrival or one departure), and no quick turns are allowed. Currently, slots at ZSPD is not very busy, two slots during 0900-2200 local time is possible if we have enough lead time to apply the slots to CAAC, suggested having a 7-day lead time.

GA operations are not recommended between 2359-0700 local, as services may be somewhat limited, and delays are possible. Peak hour restrictions can challenge crew duty day limitations, particularly for charter (non-scheduled commercial).

Slots are valid -0/+30 minutes. All slot times are confirmed in ZULU/UTC. Slots will be confirmed with landing permit approval automatically.

No PPR is required.

GA parking is officially restricted to two consecutive overnights. The airport authority will entertain requests for extended parking at this location. Universal Aviation China can make a request on your behalf for additional parking. If the aircraft type is Global 7000, 7500, or larger type, the overnight parking would be a challenge as the current GA parking zone can not fit in above large-sized aircraft.

Most ZSPD GA parking stands are not self-taxi ones which require a push-back upon departure, and services can usually be performed at the assigned parking location. Note that it’s not necessary to reposition aircraft on the field at ZSPD, but the crew must be present if relocation of an aircraft is necessary.

Facilities & Ground Handlers

ZSPD can provide good handling services. There is no FBO facility or GAT in ZSPD. All passengers clear CIQ in the VVIP-H area while crew clear CIQ via the main terminal (T1).

Pudong is well stocked in terms of ground support equipment (GSE) and is able to accommodate virtually all models of GA equipment.


UPDATE: According to an August 2023 notice from ZSPD CIQ, for ZSPD international inbound and outbound flights, the crew and passenger information needs to be confirmed before 0400Z the day before a flight. Afterward CIQ will not accept additional crew and pax. CIQ will only accept NO SHOW.

Upon an international arrival, a customs and immigration officer will board the aircraft for inspection. Passengers and crew must show the officer their passports and crew ID cards. Passengers will board a shuttle to the VVIP-H Lounge for CIQ processing. Passengers’ luggage will be transported to the VVIP-H Lounge by porters in a different vehicle. Ramp transportation is around 15 minutes. Crew will use main terminal for clearing CIQ.

Upon international departure, passengers will clear CIQ and security at the VVIP-H lounge. After CIQ and security are done, and everyone has been cleared, passengers will board a shuttle to the aircraft for departure, ramp transportation takes around 15mins. Crew will use main terminal for clearing CIQ.


Hongqiao (ZSSS)

Hongqiao Airport.

Curfews, Slots, Parking & PPR

Hongqiao (ZSSS) has better GA infrastructure and is much closer to downtown and provides an FBO facility for GA international flights. International flights will use the FBO while domestic flights will not use the FBO but to use VVIP-17 Lounge.

ZSSS has a very stringent curfew from 0001LT-0600LT (1601UTC-2200UTC).

Slots are required. No slots are available for GA from 0700-0900 LT daily. You will have a 50-50 chance to get slots during peak hours (0900LT—2200LT) for quick turns (one arrival and one departure).

Flights to/from the east and northeast of Shanghai ZSSS can now use both ZSPD and ZSSS airports. There’s an FBO with CIQ at ZSSS, but it can be busy. ZSSS will only confirm parking a day before or just hours before arrival. If outside parking is full, they’ll try for the Centralized Parking Area or a hangar space.

No PPR is required.

At ZSSS, if the regular ramp parking stand is not available for overnight parking, 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, the largest aircraft type is up to Gulfstream 6-series and Global Express 6500, Global 7000, 7500 and larger sized aircraft can not fit in the centralized parking area, hanger space would be only option to look into if ramp space is not available.

Facilities & Ground Handlers

ZSSS has a full-service Fixed-Base Operator (FBO), with crew lounges, a business center, and passenger lounges.

ZSSS is well stocked in terms of ground support equipment (GSE) and are able to accommodate virtually all models of GA equipment.


Work hours: 0800-2200LT


Upon arrival, a customs and immigration officer will board the aircraft for inspection. Passengers and crews must show the officer their passports and crew ID cards. Passengers and crew will board a VIP shuttle and be transported to the FBO for CIQ processing. Ramp transportation is around 5-10mins depends on where the aircraft parks.


Crew and passengers will be escorted to the CIQ area for processing inside the FBO. Once the aircraft has been cleared for departure and passengers and crew have completed all CIQ processing, passengers and crew will board a VIP shuttle to their aircraft for departure.

In-flight catering and decatering

In-flight caterers are available at both airports and normal operating hours are 0830-2100 local. Operators have the option to source catering off-site, either from hotels or restaurants, and ground handlers will coordinate delivery of in-flight catering airside.

Your handler will, with a recommended 24-48 hours’ notice, assist in sourcing required catering from either inflight caterers or local hotels/restaurants. There are no issues with bringing catering from outside restaurants/hotels through airport security. Your handler can also assist with any onboard catering you wish to retain for the next flight leg. Both Shanghai airports have refrigeration facilities on-airport where leftover catering may be kept during the length of your stay.

Ground Transportation

Ground handlers can coordinate local transport. While there are no rental car companies at either airport, prepaid transportation (car with driver) can be arranged. It’s not recommended to use local taxis due to language issues. Note that plane-side pick-up/drop-off with private vehicles is not permitted at Shanghai, except in cases of air ambulance flights with prior arrangements.

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).

Tech stops

For international tech stops in Shanghai, full CIQ clearance may be required, with all passengers/crew potentially needing visas unless an exemption is requested at least 48 hours prior to landing. For exemption requests, CIQ reviews aircraft registration and all passenger/crew nationalities to make a determination if clearance and visas will be required or not. If your stop in Shanghai is under 24 hours, and CIQ approves your request, a visa-free stop/stay may be possible.


Shanghai is generally an easier location to operate in, but overnight parking at ZS becomes the most challenging thing during operations. Historically, most GA operators chose ZSSS due to its proximity to the city center.


Parking at both airports is in high demand and may require you to reposition to an alternate airport.

If you’re planning a mission to Shanghai, Universal Aviation China can help.

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