This is part one of a two-article series on traveling to the Singapore Airshow.
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 [email protected]
Asia’s largest aerospace and defense event takes place Feb 6-11 at Singapore Changi (WSSS). Held once every two years, the Singapore Airshow attracts industry executives from around the world in addition to high-level government and military delegations. Conferences and static displays are backed up with daily flying displays. As event organizers put it “The sky is your domain” … “The sky is our theatre.”
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Dates and venue
The airshow runs Feb 6-11, with Feb 10-11 designated as public days. Exhibits and static displays occupy a large part of the eastern end of the airfield. The event is open to trade visitors, with trade hospitality chalets operational, over the entire six days.
2. Primary airport
While the airshow takes place at WSSS, the primary general aviation (GA) Airport for this event is Seletar (WSSL). Both locations are 24-hour airports of entry (AOEs) with Parking, full support services, fuel and credit available.
WSSL operates 24/7 with occasional night closures, of six hours or so, for runway maintenance. The single runway is 6024 feet and there’s no ILS. At this time there are no airport slots or prior permission required (PPR) mandates in effect. Parking options are relatively good here and we anticipate likely availability for all GA arrivals during the Airshow. WSSL normally allows up to three hours parking on the general ramp before you’ll need to move to either ‘compact parking’ or a hangar parking area. There are five compact parking areas, with about 8-9 parking spots per area, and they normally require towing. Parking here is first come first serve and parking reservations are not taken or confirmed. Parking is normally allocated a few hours before you land. In addition to compact parking options you may make arrangements to park in the hangar area. Customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) is cleared within a small older terminal close to the hangar area.
4. Seletar changes in 2018
A new terminal is under construction at WSSL. This will be located across the field from the current GA terminal and is expected to be operational the latter half of 2018. Many regional flights out of WSSS will be relocated to WSSL, adding to operational congestion at this location. Once the new facility opens, GA flights will clear CIQ within the new terminal. It’s uncertain at this time how these infrastructure changes will impact GA parking availability at WSSL, or if airport slots will be implemented.
5. Singapore Changi
WSSS is a busy commercial airport and it’s becoming more and more challenging to obtain GA airport slots and parking here. While airport slots are possible, there’s limited availability and slot applications may only be made up to seven days prior to operation. Requested slots are often not available on the day you may need one. If you’re able to obtain a slot at WSSS, the deviation is +/1 one hour and you’ll be permitted to park a maximum of 48 hours, with no extension possible. Note that charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations are not permitted at WSSS. Construction recently completed on Terminal 4 at WSSS and construction on Terminal 5 will begin in the near future.
6. Revising slots at Changi
Note that it can be difficult to revise approved slot times at WSSS. Should your schedule change, you may in some cases need to wait up to several hours for a revised slot time. If it’s expected you may need to revise schedule its best that GA operations use WSSL.
7. Alternate airport
While it’s difficult to obtain GA parking at WSSS, during the Airshow or any other time, parking is expected to be available over the Airshow period at WSSL. If you’re not able to secure parking at either Singapore airport, Johor Bahru (WMKJ) can be considered, just across the Straight in Malaysia. WMKJ is a 24-hour AOE with plenty of parking, an 11004 ft runway and full GA support services. While WMKJ is just 30 air miles from WSSS plan on a 60 minute drive between the two airports.
For GA operators, it’s recommended that you travel to WSSL. This is a busy period for Singapore, so WSSS should be avoided due to the traffic and lack of airport slots and parking.
Later we’ll discuss permits, airport slots, customs and immigration when traveling to the Singapore Airshow.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Singapore, contact me at [email protected]