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Singapore: turboprop operations at Seletar on hold
Seletar Airport. © Seletar Airport

Singapore: turboprop operations at Seletar on hold

Singapore's plans to relocate turboprop operations from Changi to Seletar are being held up a disagreement with Malaysia over airspace management arrangements and ILS procedures.

Two weeks after Singapore officially relocated turboprop operations from Changi to Seletar in a bid to resolve congestion problems at Changi, neither of the two operators concerned by the move — Firefly and Malindo Air — have yet been cleared to fly from the refurbished Seletar platform.

Firefly is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines; Malindo Air is 51%-owned by a Malaysian group, National Aerospace and Defense Industries. Both carriers operate ATR 72s.

All scheduled turboprop flights to and from Singapore were due to be operated out of Seletar as of 1st December. However, the airlines have been unable to relocate their operations due to Kuala Lumpur's objections to the implementation of ILS procedures at Seletar and Malaysian plans to take back control of airspace delegated to Singapore in the state of Johor. Management of the airspace in question was delegated to Singapore under a bilateral agreement concluded in the 1970s.

In anticipation of the turboprop move, all operations at Seletar have been transferred to a new 10,000m2 two-storey terminal building at the eastern side of Seletar, with 500m2 reserved for business aviation passengers.The new terminal is designed to handle 700,000 passengers per year. Passengers travelling on chartered business jets and private jets have access to a private drop-off area and a dedicated check-in area.

Other airport enhancements include the lengthening of its runway, the construction of a new control tower and fire station, a doubling of the number of parking stands, additional taxiways and upgraded aircraft parking aprons. Three parking stands adjacent to the terminal are available for commercial flights, with a further 20 stands for business and general aviation needs.

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