Seletar Airport, Singapore’s secondary civilian gateway, has completed the construction of a new control tower as part of its $116 million expansion plans.
The new tower, which will allow for the airport to accommodate all-weather flight operations for the first time, comes four months after it finished a 250-metre extension of its runway to allow for bigger aircraft.
Since upgrading works started in 2008, more than $116 million has been invested into the gateway on upgrading and expansion works to “strengthen its capabilities”.
Singapore is investing heavily into Seletar Airport and its surrounding areas to transform it into the ‘Seletar Aerospace Park’, which it hopes will become a “premier aerospace hub in the region”.
Launched in 2007, the Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP) is a multi-agency project that is expected to contribute $3.3 billion to the Singapore economy and add more than 10,000 jobs.
Lui Tuck Yew, minister for transport and second minister for foreign affairs, officially commissioned the new control tower and extended runway at a ceremony jointly organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) today (January 10).
According to CAG, which manages the airport, Singapore has seen strong growth in the business aviation sector recently, with aircraft movements growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 17% from 2007 to 2010.
Lee Seow Hiang, chief executive of CAG, said: “Seletar Airport is the backbone of SAP, providing the connectivity to the region needed to spur the growth of the SAP community.
“The successful completion of key infrastructure developments at Seletar Airport will enhance its operational efficiency and strengthen its capabilities, thereby delivering better services to meet the needs of airport users."
The modernisation of the gateway, of which the new control tower is a key aspect, is intended to support the increase in business aviation activities in Singapore.
Yap Ong Heng, director general of CAAS, said: “Built to international standards, the new Seletar Control Tower and other air navigation services (ANS) facilities will enhance the air traffic management capacity and capabilities at the airport.”
Seletar Airport was the first airbase built in Singapore and some of its infrastructure and facilities date back to before World War II.
The enhancements to the airport include a longer runway, a new control tower and fire station, double the number of parking stands, additional taxiways, upgraded aircraft parking aprons and an Instrument Landing System (ILS).
The extension of the runway from 1592 metres to 1836 metres, an addition of about 250 metres, was completed in September 2011, and enables the gateway to support larger jet operations.
Now, with the new control tower, capacity at the airport is expected to increase further.
Until now the gateway has only operated a visual runway where pilots can only land at the airport if they have a clear view of the runway and therefore not in bad weather.
The new control tower and an instrument landing system (ILS) that will be installed in 2014 will enable Seletar Airport to handle all-weather flight operations.