Singapore’s Seletar airport could be opened to some commercial flights as a way of relieving pressure on Changi airport.
Industry sources have told Flightglobal Pro that Changi Airport Group (CAG), which operates both facilities, has held discussions with some carriers exploring the possibility of moving their flights from Changi to Seletar, located in the north of the island.
One source adds, however, that there have been no commitments made by CAG, and that carriers have expressed concern about Seletar's ground transport links.
Up until 2010, there were limited commercial turboprop services to Seletar from Malaysian carrier Berjaya Air, which have since been moved to Changi. Nowadays, the airport is primarily used for business and general aviation and is also a growing hub for aerospace and MRO companies.
CAG's website shows that Seletar has a single 1,836m (6,020 ft) runway capable which will receive an instrument landing system by 2014.
It is believed that if the airport were opened to commercial traffic, CAG would target turboprop operators at Changi to move their services across to Seletar. In a briefing to reporters earlier this year, CAG officials noted that turboprop movements at Changi have impacted the airport’s operating efficiency, although it has no plans to ban the aircraft as yet.
Managing Changi’s growth and status as a hub airport is seen as an important issue for the Singapore government. It recently released plans to build a fifth terminal at the airport and open up access to a third runway to cater for the expected growth in passengers over the short to medium term.
Last year, Changi handled a record 51.2 million passengers and 324,000 flight movements, and recent forecasts predict that passenger numbers will grow annually by 5% until 2020, before moderating to 4% between 2020 and 2030.