Seletar completes runway extension, targets new role
Singapore’s Seletar Airport has completed a runway extension as part of a major upgrade project designed to position the airport as a niche facility for business aviation, general aviation and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities.
The airport’s runway was extended by 250 metres to 1.84km, which allows it to support larger jet operations and heavier take-off weights.
The extended runway is one of a number of airport infrastructure improvements planned for completion in 2014. They include a new control tower and fire station, a significant increase in the number of parking stands, additional taxiways, upgraded aircraft parking aprons and an instrument landing system.
The upgrade work started at the end of 2008. During the runway-extension work, some activities, including medical evacuation and some business jet operations, were temporarily transferred to Singapore’s main Changi Airport. Seletar Airport resumed normal activities in mid-September.
Changi Airport Group (CAG), which manages Seletar, says that Singapore has seen strong growth in the business aviation sector, with aircraft movements increasing at a compounded annual rate of 17 percent from 2007 to 2010. This growth is expected to accelerate, driven by a rise in private-jet usage in Asia and the Singapore Government’s efforts to develop Seletar Aerospace Park into a leading-edge industrial centre.
“We are committed to developing Singapore into a leading aviation hub. The transformation of Seletar Airport, and its surrounding areas into Seletar Aerospace Park are part of this. They will support the aviation industry to tap Asia’s strong growth momentum to expand business aviation, general aviation and aerospace activities in Singapore,” says Yap Ong Heng, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
Seoul selects design for second terminal
Seoul’s Incheon Airport will start construction of its second passenger and cargo terminal in May 2013, after selecting a design by Heerim Architects and Planners.
The second terminal is due to be open in early 2018, coinciding with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which are due to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February of that year. The new terminal is part of the airport’s US$4.1 billion expansion plan.
The new, 350,000-square-metre passenger terminal, to be located 2.8km north of the existing terminal and connected to it by an underground train link, will cost US$1.4 billion. The project will also include a new US$2.7 billion cargo and logistics terminal.
The new terminal will boost the airport’s capacity to 62 million passengers and 5.8 million tonnes of cargo a year. With its existing terminal the airport is capable of handling 44 million passengers and 4.5 million tonnes of cargo a year. Passenger traffic at the airport is expected to maintain an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent on average.
Selection of a design for the new terminal follows continued growth in traffic at the airport, with Incheon registering a 6.1 percent increase in August to 3.44 million compared with the same month a year ago. Aircraft movements climbed 5.3 percent to 20,400, but cargo traffic fell 4.1 percent to 205,000 tonnes.
On 15 August, the airport once again broke its daily passenger throughput record, with 121,974 passengers arriving and departing the airport, breaking the previous record set on 31 July of 120,254 passengers.
SHENZHEN AIRLINES launched the first scheduled services to the new Chinese airport at Aershan, Inner Mongolia, in August. The airport, which features a 2,400m runway capable of handling Boeing 737s, was completed late last year and opened for charter services earlier this year. Shenzhen is connecting Aershan with Beijing. The opening of the airport will play an important role in building traffic in North East China and East Inner Mongolia, the Civil Aviation Administration of China says.
AUSTRALIA’S SYDNEY Airport has completed a A$26 million (US$25.5 million) runway-resurfacing project and has started on a A$25 million project to install stop-bar lights. The resurfacing was an essential safety project that involved major maintenance work on the main north-south runway, the east-west runway and some taxiways. The installation of stop-bar lights at the taxiway entries to the three runways is a safety initiative designed to prevent aircraft from inadvertently entering a runway without air traffic control clearance. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2012.
TAIWAN’S BUSIEST airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, has become the first in the country to install common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks in the first stage of an end-to-end self-service vision for the airport. The project involved the installation of 52 SITA S3CUSS kiosks which allow passengers to check in for flights on All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, EVA Airways, Dragonair, KLM and TransAsia Airways from any kiosk. The airport is now discussing self-service bag drop and boarding solutions with SITA.
PASSENGER NUMBERS at India’s airports rose almost 16 percent in June compared with the same month a year earlier, reaching 13.7 million, according to the Airports Authority of India. Domestic traffic rose 19 percent to 10.4 million while international traffic climbed 6.8 percent to 3.23 million. Total aircraft movements increased 11.7 percent to 125,000. Freight traffic, however, fell for the month, by 1.4 percent to 188,000 tonnes.