Seletar Airport in the northeastern region of Singapore is upgrading the service and safety standards of its ground handling agents and implementing capacity and infrastructure improvements as it positions itself for future business aviation growth.
Since early 2013, Changi Airport Group (CAG), the manager of Singapore’s secondary civilian airport, has held consultations with the Seletar Airport community to review the existing ground-handling standards and put in place an improved framework.
Following these consultations, some of the current seven ground handlers at the airport decided to improve their capabilities to meet the new standards, while the others decided not to renew their licenses on expiration in June 2013, CAG said in an e-mailed release today.
“Certain ground handlers did not possess the full suite of ground-handling capabilities to carry out airside core services, such as towing of aircraft and passenger handling,” said Lim Ching Kiat, general manager of Seletar Airport.
He added: “While this situation was acceptable to Seletar Airport in the past, it is not ideal moving forward. The traffic at Seletar Airport has grown steadily in recent years, spurred by the development of the Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP) and the healthy growth of business aviation activities in the region.”
Five ground handlers have been granted temporary permits from July to December 2013, which will be converted into a two-year license from January 1, 2014 upon meeting CAG’s criteria under the new ground-handling framework.
Singapore’s business aviation scene has grown steadily over the years, with aircraft movements registering a compounded annual growth rate of about 18 percent from 2008 to 2012, a trend that is expected to continue.
At the same time, CAG is undertaking improvements at Seletar Airport to enhance capacity and infrastructure.
One is compact parking of aircraft, in which an operator is assigned a specific compact parking area (CPA) to enable Seletar Airport to better meet the increased demand for aircraft parking space. By the end of 2013, two more CPA plots will be added at the airport, bringing the total to five, said CAG.
Moreover, 21 additional parking bays have been constructed at the airport’s east apron, increasing the total number of parking bays to 58.
Other ongoing infrastructural upgrades include the resurfacing of the west apron, estimated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the doubling of the length of the current 3,275-meter taxiway by early 2015.
These works are part of an upgrading plan since 2008 to improve the infrastructure of Seletar Airport to support the development of the SAP.
Next year, a new instrument landing system will be added to facilitate airport operations in low visibility and poor weather conditions. Singapore’s first ground run-up enclosure at the east apron also will be constructed to conduct aircraft engine maintenance, repair, and overhaul.
The airport emergency service will have a new fire training ground by end-2014 to enhance the airport fire-fighting and rescue team’s response capabilities, said CAG.