SINGAPORE - All operations at Seletar Airport have moved to a new $80 million passenger terminal, pulling the shutters down on the old facility which started handling civil flights 50 years ago.
The new terminal comprises one section for scheduled commercial flights and another for business aviation involving passengers travelling on chartered business flights and private jets.
The business aviation wing opened on Monday (Nov 19) said Changi Airport Group (CAG), which manages both Changi and Seletar airports.
From Dec 1, Seletar Airport will also handle all scheduled turboprop flights in Singapore, the airport operator said.
Turboprops, which come with propellers, fly at lower altitudes, and are able to land at smaller airports with short runways, unlike most jet planes.
Currently, only Malaysia's Firefly operates turboprops at Changi Airport. It offers 20 daily flights at Changi Airport - to and from Subang, Ipoh and Kuantan.
But with two weeks to go before the shift to Seletar, the airline has yet to inform its customers of the planned move.
A spokesman for the airline told The Straits Times that no final decision has been made.
"We will move to Seletar Airport for sure. As to when that will happen, we are still in the midst of settling some issues internally and with CAG.
"We hope to be able to finalise everything by Wednesday. In the meantime, we will continue to sell tickets for our flights to Singapore. Our customers are the main priority and we will inform them of any changes."
Firefly passengers, who now pay $47.30 in airport fees and levies at Changi, will pay $29 when the airline moves to Seletar.
The new Seletar development is to provide more space for Singapore's private and business jet traffic to grow, and free up capacity at Changi Airport for larger planes.
In a Facebook posting, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that with the opening of the new terminal, all passengers, including those on chartered and private jets, will enjoy bigger, better facilities and easier transition from airside to landside.
"A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring that the new Seletar passenger terminal is in tip-top condition," he added.
CAG said Seletar Airport meets the relevant requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation on airport design and operations.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has certified that the new facilities and infrastructure at Seletar Airport are ready for aircraft operations.
These include both scheduled and non-scheduled services.
To prepare for the opening, extensive trials involving over 2,000 participants have been carried out since June 2018, the airport operator said.
These included the processing of departing and arriving passengers, systems for check-in, baggage handling, and immigration and security clearance.
Spanning 10,000 sqm, the new two-storey terminal is designed to handle up to 700,000 passengers a year.
In the departure area, there are four check-in counters, six immigration lanes, two security screening stations and a gate-hold room - where passengers wait to board their flight - big enough for about 200 passengers.
The business aviation centre has a separate drop-off area, as well as a dedicated check-in and lounge area.
On the second floor, there are facilities where passengers can conduct meetings.
Mr See Seng Wan, general manager of Seletar Airport, said the new facility will provide better comfort to passengers and visitors "in a pleasant terminal that is easy to use".
He said: "With the new facilities, we look forward to providing a new level of travel experience to our passengers at Seletar Airport."
The construction of the new passenger terminal at Seletar is part of a renewal of the airport located within Seletar Aerospace Park, which houses more than 60 aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul firms.
Since 2008, Seletar Airport has seen several enhancements, including 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.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.