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Seletar Airport ( ) was Singaporemarker's first international airport. It was completed in 1928 originally as RAF Seletar.

It is located in Seletar in the north-eastern area of the main island, and is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. There has been a proposal to extend its runway to 2,000 metres, so as to be able to receive the Boeing 737 used by many budget airlines. However, after considerations by the Singapore Government and the CAAS, they decided to build a Budget Terminal in Singapore Changi Airportmarker instead.


RAF Seletar

RAF Seletar Crest Badge
RAF Seletar was a Royal Air Force station in Singaporemarker between 1928 and 1971.

Plans for establishing an airfield, flying boat and naval base in Singapore were first agreed by the RAF in 1921. In 1923, two sites in the northern region of the island were approved. The first planes to arrive at the base were four Supermarine Southampton seaplanes on February 28, 1928.

RAF Seletar served as a civil airport from 1930 before the opening of Singapore's first civil airport at Kallangmarker on June 12, 1937 (to the late 1940s).

The air base was briefly host to Amy Johnson during May 1930 on her UK - Australia flight in her Gipsy Moth named 'Jason'.

Pre-WW2 and during WW2

As war clouds gathered over Singapore, the RAF started building up their forces in the Far East in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Seletar airfield was the target of carpet bombing when Japanese navy bombers conducted the first air raid on Singapore, sometime after their ground forces invaded Kota Bahru. It was abandoned when the Japanese took Johore Bahrumarker, which brought their artillery in range of the airfield.

When the Japanese launched their invasion of Malaya and Singaporemarker, Seletar housed the RAF’s 205 Sqn with PBY Catalina flying boats and 36 and 100 Sqns with obsolete Vickers Vildebeest torpedo bombers, along with 151 Maintenance Unit. These units stayed until Jan-Feb 1942, soon before the surrender to the invading Japanese.

During the Japanese occupation, Seletar (like Sembawangmarker) was under the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service, and a number of IJN squadrons were based or transited through Seletar mainly, for training (the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force took over RAF Tengahmarker). Among the units known to be based at Seletar during this time were 936 Kokutai (B5N Kate, D3A Val and E13A1 Jake), 381 Kokutai (A6M Zero and J2M Raiden). The 601 Kokutai was also stationed there for training in early before its destruction on board Japanese aircraft carriers during the Battle of Philippine Sea (Marianas Turkey Shoot) in June. Seletar’s present runway was built during the Japanese Occupation.


After World War 2, the base went back to the RAF and, in the late 1940s and 1950s, the base was heavily involved in the Malayan Emergency, with Beaufighters, Spitfires and Mosquitos based there while operating against Malayan Communist insurgents. Among the many squadrons based there during this time were Nos 60, 81 and 205 Sqns of the RAF.

During the 1960s, RAF Seletar was home base to No's 103 and 110 Squadron, both of which were equipped with Westland Whirlwind Mk 10 helicopters and to 34 Squadron, which was equipped with Blackburn Beverleys. All three Squadrons (among several others) were involved with support of operations in North Borneo during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. The helicopter squadrons provided a search and rescue service for the Singapore area. The station was also, at that time, home to 209 Squadron, equipped with Single and Twin Pioneer aircraft.In December 1966, three Andover CC Mk1 arrived to replace the ageing Twin Pioneers. 52 squadron was later reformed in March 1967 after the arrival of a further three aircraft. By now, Confrontation had finished and with no purpose the Squadron moved to Changi in 1968 before being disbanded in January 1970.


The RAF station closed at the end of March 1971 and Seletar was handed over to the Singapore Air Defence Command (SADC, which became the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) later) by 1973, after the British pullout.

Among Seletar’s claim to fame was the fact that several classic aircraft type flew their last RAF Operational sorties from there including the Short Singapore flying boat (Mk.III K6912 of No. 205 Squadron RAF 14 October 1941, aircraft transferred to No. 5 Squadron RNZAF), Supermarine Spitfire (PR.XIX PS888 of 81 Sqn 1954) De Havilland Mosquito (PR.34 RG314 of 81 Sqn 1955), Short Sunderland flying boat (ML797 205 Sqn 15 May 1959) and Bristol Beaufighter (TT.X RD761 Station Flight 1960).

Seletar Airbase

The formative years of the SADC (later the RSAF) was established at Seletar Airbase in September 1968, with the setting up of the Flying Training School (FTS) utilising three Cessna 172G/H on loan from the Singapore Flying Club. The subsequent arrival of eight new Cessna 172Ks in May 1969, took over the duty from the former and contributed to the increase of training tempo for more selected trainees to participate in the basic flight-training course.

Current operations

Seletar Airport now operates as a general aviation airport, mainly for chartered flights. As of 2007, the only scheduled services operating from Seletar are Berjaya Air's flights to Tiomanmarker and Redangmarker. It has a single runway and 27 aircraft stands, and is opened 24 hours a day.

In 1998, Seletar Airport received 7,945 scheduled flights altogether, handling 23,919 passengers and 6,025 tons of cargo.

The Republic of Singapore Flying Club, Seletar Flying Club and Singapore Flying College are situated at Seletar Airport. The Singapore Flying College also conducts its flying training at Jandakot Airportmarker in Perthmarker, Western Australiamarker and at Sunshine Coast Airportmarker in Maroochydoremarker, Queenslandmarker.

Another prominent flying school is the Singapore Youth Flying Club, which has its headquarters built on western side of the airport's runway. Completed in June 2001, the clubhouse also has its own parking bays for its fleet of Piper Warrior II and CT-4E.

In 2007, JTC Corporation announced the plan to upgrade the Seletar Airport to support the upcoming Seletar Aerospace Park. The plan includes the lengthening of the airport's runway from its current length to 1,800 metres and the upgrading of its avionics systems to allow bigger aircraft to land and take off.

Passenger facilities

There are two check-in counters, an outdoor car park, three sets of credit-card telephone, lavatory for the handicapped, soft-drink vending machine, drinking-water tap, outdoor covered waiting seats, passenger service and VIP lounge, taxi stall, etc.

Food is available from a canteen, opposite West Camp Road.

Freight facilities

Seletar Airport can handle 840 tons of freight per day. It also has 100 square metres of warehouse space.

Operating airlines

Charter flights are also operated to Batammarker in Indonesiamarker.

Photo Gallery

File:CH 002556.jpg|A Short Singapore-III flying boat, similar to those operated by 205 Sqn.File:HU 059790.jpg|Short Singapore-III flying boat of 205 Sqn, in flight below three 'vic' formations of Vickers Vildebeest torpedo bombers of 100 Sqn.File:K 001102.jpg|Consolidated Catalinas of 205 Sqn undergoing servicing in their hangar at RAF Seletar. One of the Sqn's Short Singapore-III bi-plane flying boats can be seen in the right background.File:RAF Seletar ramp 205 Sqn Sunderland.jpg|A 205 Sqn Shorts Sunderland at the ramp of RAF Seletar.File:CI 001735.jpg|An aerial view of Seletar airfield, Singapore, with RAF Mosquito and Dakota aircraft parked up.File:Spitfire PR XIX PS890.jpg|A Spitfire PR Mk XIX, similar to those operated by No. 81 Squadron RAF from RAF Seletar.File:Viewing gallery.jpg|The viewing gallery of Singapore Youth Flying Club overlooking the runway of Seletar. Note the Club's CT-4E rolling on the runway.

See also


External links

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