Singapore Grand Prix 2023 – Business Aviation Guide
From 15th to 17th September 2023, the world of motorsport will turn its gaze towards Singapore, as the city-state hosts its iconic Formula 1 Grand Prix. As a business aviation operator, the event will bring unique operational challenges due to an expected influx of private jets to Singapore.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know:
Singapore, known for its night races, offers an unforgettable F1 experience, with the Marina Bay Street Circuit providing a dramatic backdrop. The winding racecourse around Marina Bay involves 61 laps of the 5.065- circuit and is expected to attract domestic spectators in addition to international General Aviation (GA) flights.
The schedule is as follows:
- Friday, September 15th: Practice
- Saturday, September 16th: Qualifying
- Sunday, September 17th: Race
There are two airport options for Singapore: Seletar (WSSL) and Changi Intl (WSSS). For the Grand Prix, Seletar (WSSL) is the preferred airport option.
Seletar is an airport of entry with noise abatement in place, airport opens from 7am to 10pm daily. Changi is a 24-hour airport of entry with full aircraft services and support available.
Both airports are relatively close to the city center, with Seletar a 20-minute drive and Changi about 25 minutes to downtown.
For more information on Singapore Airports, visit our Business Aviation Guide.
Seletar Airport (WSSL)
The default airport for F1 flights is Seletar Airport (WSSL).
Seletar is approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) away from the Marina Bay Street Circuit, where the Singapore Grand Prix is held. The travel time by car can vary widely depending on traffic conditions. Generally, you should expect a driving time of around 30 to 45 minutes, though during the period of the Grand Prix, travel times could be longer due to increased traffic.
WSSL is requesting for schedules to be submitted to them latest by 6th September. Anything after this will be on a case-by-case basis, depending on bay availability.
From 10th to 20th September, WSSL will be a slots-controlled airport. This is to manage the parking bay situation and deconflict congestion at CIQ. Training slots are still applicable and airport operating hours will remain unchanged.
For this period, handlers will only confirm handling once the slot is secured. Singapore Civil Aviation has not released information on how the slot process will take place. Universal Aviation Singapore is working closely with officials and we will update this blog once that information is confirmed.
In your request, it would be helpful if you indicate the passenger profile. Are they actual F1 drivers, team principle, sponsors, artiste/performers or here to attend the race/concerts? We understand that there are other major conferences and events that are happening in concurrence with the race.
Aircraft parking is expected to be limited. We seek your understanding that aircraft with approved slots will still need to be towed to alternative parking arrangements immediately after their arrival.
Seletar Business Aviation Centre Changes
With effect from 21st August 2023, the Seletar Business Aviation Centre will segregate the lounge usage to maximize space as they are seeing larger passenger groups using the facility.
Crew that wishes to use the lounge will be directed to the 2nd level. They will most probably need to access that area by using the elevator located at the terminal. Moving forward, this is expected to continue after the event.
Complete e-Arrival Cards In Advance
Operators are requested to have clients complete their e-arrival cards before reaching the lounge. It is recommended to provide your ground handler copies so that we can cross reference with the Gendec and Manifest to reduce the waiting time at immigration.
In the event of bad weather, please note that aircraft will be sequenced based on approved slots. Do expect delays in this type of situation especially during departures.
To minimize landside vehicle congestion, pick-up vehicles will be held at the public carpark until the passengers have cleared immigration. It would be ideal if we have the driver’s contact number to coordinate this. Do note that the carpark has a 30mins grace period, we recommend that cars do not come too early.
Changi Airport (WSSS)
Changi Airport (WSSS) is approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Under normal traffic conditions, the drive between Changi Airport and the Marina Bay Street Circuit typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes. However, similar to Seletar Airport, you should expect increased traffic and possibly longer travel times during the period of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Note: Non-F1 related flights will be denied operations to WSSS from 10 to 20 Sep 2023.
Changi Regulations for F1 Flights
WSSS is requesting for schedules to be submitted to them latest by 6th September. Anything after this will be on a case-by-case basis, depending on bay availability.
To ensure smooth operations during this high-traffic period, specific guidelines have been set for F1 flights, applicable from 10th to 20th September 2023.
- If Changi Airport (WSSS) is required, only quick turnarounds (pick and drop) are allowed.
- No layovers at WSSS will be facilitated from 10th to 20th September unless supported by documentation for operational requirements.
- All flights, including diplomatic ones, must be filed. Diplomatic flights must provide the permit approval number.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) permit approval doesn’t consider bay availability.
- All Ground Control Regulations (GCR) filings must include the Lead passenger, Business entity, and Reason(s) for operating to WSSS in the Supplementary Information (SI) section.
- Late submissions after 6th September, 12pm, will not be entertained.
- In your request, it would be helpful if you indicate the passenger profile. Are they actual F1 drivers, team principle, sponsors, artiste/performers or here to attend the race/concerts? We understand that there are other major conferences and events that are happening in concurrence with the race.
Hotel accommodations are always in high demand during the Singapore Grand Prix event periods. During this time, we anticipate higher-than-normal room prices and no-cancellation policies. Some hotels – particularly those in the popular Marina Bay area – will have special access requirements or will take longer to reach due to closures for the race. This could present occasional challenges/delays in moving to/from your hotel, so it’s recommended that you speak to your ground handler or 3rd-party provider to confirm.
Singapore has an excellent public transport and taxi system, and it’s generally very easy to travel around this island nation. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train system is a particularly efficient means of moving about Singapore. We do not recommend renting vehicles due to traffic congestion, road closures, and limited parking options during the Grand Prix period. Should you wish to arrange pre-paid transport (car with driver), it’s best to make these arrangements well in advance. Note that while public transport, MRT, and taxi options are very good between WSSS and the central district, these options are much more restrictive in the case of WSSL. WSSL is in a somewhat isolated location where it’s more challenging to find public taxis. If you land at WSSL, always have your ground handler arrange pre-paid transport or confirm taxi transport in advance. Do note that taxis here are metered, and surcharges are applicable depending on the time of day.
If you’re heading to Singapore for the 2023 Grand Prix, it’s important to confirm aircraft parking and hotel arrangements as soon as the schedule is known. While we recommend WSSL for most GA operations – due to more flexible parking options and no airport slot requirements – it’s important to be mindful of routine weekly runway closures that occur at this location. Also, note that WSSS has aircraft parking restrictions for GA and air traffic delays.
Universal Aviation Singapore can help.