Seletar Airport Raising Ground Handler Standards

Changi Airport Group-owned (CAG) Seletar Airport, Singapore, has embarked on a full-scale review of the service and safety standards of its ground handling agents, as part of its long-term strategy to position itself as a top business and general aviation airport in the region.
Previously, seven licensed agents operated at the airport.  Some were equipped with the full suite of capabilities and equipment, while others outsourced part or most of their service delivery.  CAG says this resulted in disparity in the agents’ capabilities, making it difficult to apply consistent service and safety level requirements.
Since early 2013, CAG has held consultations with the Seletar Airport community and users to review the existing ground handling standards and put in place an improved framework.  As a result, some incumbent ground handlers decided to change their business models or acquire the necessary capabilities in order to meet the new standards.  However, others decided not to renew their licences when they expired in June, preferring to continue their activities at Seletar by working with other ground handlers.
Lim Ching Kiat, General Manager of Seletar Airport, commented:  “Certain ground handlers did not possess the full suite of ground handling capabilities to carry out airside core services, such as towing of aircraft and passenger handling.  While this situation was acceptable to Seletar Airport in the past, it is not ideal moving forward.  Traffic has grown steadily in recent years, spurred by the development of the Seletar Aerospace Park and the healthy growth of business aviation activities in the region.”
Five ground handlers have been granted temporary permits from July to December, which will be converted into two-year licences from January 1, 2014 if they meet CAG’s criteria under the new framework.  From next year, airport users will be able to choose from a number of providers, each offering a full spectrum of ground handling service options, with a “more consistent and higher level of service and safety standards”.
Several initiatives are also being undertaken to enhance capacity and infrastructure at the airport, including the compact parking of aircraft to allow Seletar to better meet demand for parking space.  By the end of this year, two extra compact parking areas will be added at the airport, bringing the total to five.
Furthermore, 21 additional parking bays have been constructed on the East (South) apron, increasing the total to 58.
Other key upgrades include the resurfacing of the west apron, estimated for completion by the end of 2013 and the lengthening of the current 10,745ft (3,275m) taxiway by more than double in early 2015.
Next year, the airport plans to receive a new instrument landing systems, as well as Singapore’s first ground run-up enclosure on the East (North) apron.  The emergency services will also have a new fire training ground by the end of next year.