New hangar offers carousel parking for light aircraft in Seletar airport
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By Paul Jansen
at Seletar Airport, Singapore
Several General Aviation aircraft owners based in Singapore have watched the upgrading of the country’s small Seletar Airport (WSSL) with some concern. Worried about being deprived of parking space at the only aerodrome they can operate from, they have banded together to speak with a unified voice on that issue.
For some, the answer came in the form of a new hangar at the airport belonging to MAJ Aviation, which was officially opened on February 10, 2012 by Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo. It boasts a two-deck carousel on which up to 14 light aircraft can be parked. A plane can be pushed directly from the taxiway to a vacant berth at the lower carousel. Alternatively, a lift can transport it to the level of the upper deck where it can then be slotted into a vacant spot on the carousel. This opens up more space on the hangar floor for larger or other aircraft.
Mrs Teo made her entrance in a Diamond plane which taxied up to the hangar’s entrance a little after 9am.The features of the carousel did not escape her attention. She noted in her speech to the guests: “The innovative design helps increase the storage space for small aircraft and decreases the time spent on storage and removal by up to five-fold.”
MAJ Aviation, which bills itself as offering manpower solutions to equipment supply, from specialised engineering support to strategic aviation consulting, has invested a reported S$10 million on the facility. It will be used for a variety of services, one of which is for parking.
MAJ Aviation’s Executive Director (Business Development) Teng Kim Hai told Merawan that his company would charge S$800 a month for a parking slot in his hangar for an aircraft like the Piper Warrior. This compares to the S$200 a month which several light aircraft owners are currently paying for parking in the open at the airport’s compact parking area. Covered berths are more valued by owners as they protect the planes’ fuselage and avionics from the ravages of sun and rain. However, hangar owners have to price their space judiciously as owners are already paying a pretty penny for the other needs of their aircraft and may decide to forgo the shade if the price is not right.
A few owners have even parked their planes at Senai International Airport (WMKJ) in Johor, Malaysia. And the airport there, considered General Aviation-friendly by many recreational pilots, is also undergoing upgrading to cater to the increasing demand for business jet travel.
At the moment, however, Singapore’s authorities are buoyed by the sector’s current performance. Said Mrs Teo: “Singapore’s aerospace industry has grown by about 12 per cent on average each year, and in particular, the MRO industry in Singapore has had a compounded annual growth rate of over 10 per cent, making Singapore the most comprehensive MRO hub in Asia.”
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