SINGAPORE: A dedicated facility for travellers on private jets entering and leaving Singapore aims to grow Seletar Airport into a "hub" for the luxury market.
The business aviation centre (BAC), unveiled to the media on Tuesday (Jun 11), has a private drop-off area, a lounge, dedicated immigration security screening as well as other personalised services.
With faster clearance processes, passengers can expect to take no more than 10 minutes to breeze through the BAC from entry to exit, before boarding their jet.
This is the latest facility to open at Seletar Airport after its new S$80 million passenger terminal welcomed its first business passengers in November 2018. Spanning 10,000 sq m, the two-storey terminal is designed to handle up to 700,000 passengers a year.
Business travellers are a key part of the Seletar development, which was built to cater to the growing private and business jet market, as well as to free up space at Changi Airport. Since November 2018, SATS Seletar Aviation Services (SSAS) has handled more than 4,000 flight movements at the airport, of which close to 70 per cent are attributed to business aviation.
"Private jet travellers are usually on a tight schedule and travel frequently," said chairman of SSAS Bob Chi. "Saving time while travelling is naturally important to this segment of customers.
"They will find the seamless, fuss-free and personalised experience that cuts end-to-end travel time a great attraction. SATS hopes to support Changi Airport in their plan to grow Seletar Airport into a hub for business travellers and tourists travelling on private jets."
While Changi Airport has a terminal - JetQuay - which can also serve private jets, Mr Chi said that the competition for landing slots at Changi due to its growth has led to the need for a dedicated facility at Seletar.
"It's not that we are not handling any private jets in Changi," he told reporters on the sidelines of a visit to the facility. "We do but the numbers are declining and the reason why they are declining is that they have shifted business here."
Opened in 2006, JetQuay not only handles private jets, but also provides VIP services to any passengers travelling on full-service carriers.
"The moment customers arrive at the kerbside, they want to be out on the aircraft within minutes. You can't really do that in Changi because the airport is very big. So from the kerbside up until the point you depart, it's going to take some time," added Mr Chi.
"There is a lot more flexibility that we provide because of the scale and size of the airport."
The business aviation centre is managed by SSAS, a joint venture company SATS formed with Jet Aviation and Universal Aviation. It has been in operation since November last year, and handles an average of 30 private jets daily.
Seletar Airport also handles commercial flights operated by Malaysian budget carrier Firefly.
Said Mr Chi: "We are looking about five per cent growth every year, so there is a potential, hopefully with this brand new facility we will be able to encourage more private jet operators to locate their jets here and therefore do more flights out of Seletar."