If you read the headline, you’re probably wondering what Seletar Airport is.

Reader: Ya sia, I thought Singapore only got Changi Airport?

There’s actually another airport in Singapore and it’s even older than Changi Airport.

Reader: Wah, really ah? How come none of my flights have departed from or arrived at Seletar Airport? How to get a flight from there?

Well, you’ll probably never get to use Seletar Airport. Probably.

Back in 2020, bus 117 and bus 103 went viral after someone posted this on Reddit, saying that this bus ride in Yishun looks like a scene from Spirited Away.

Image: Reddit (@czsyc7)

Or if you’re a Singaporean guy, like a scene when you’re prepared to have your hair cut and lose two years of your life. And your girlfriend.

Image: Flickr

The buses that offer this stunning view of the ocean drive across Yishun dam towards a place that some of are not familiar with.

Located somewhere between Sengkang and Yishun is a rather private area that houses Seletar Airport. Given its secluded location, it’s no wonder big stars like Taylor Swift chooses to land her private jet there instead of Changi Airport, which sees millions of passengers yearly.

There are, however, still some celebrities who choose to land at Changi Airport.

It’s all up to personal preference, I guess. Maybe those who land at Changi Airport want to immediately see Jewel’s huge indoor waterfall.

Currently, we have two commercial airports in Singapore: Changi Airport and Seletar Airport.

Obviously, we’re all familiar with Changi Airport since it’s the one we always fly off from and arrive at when we return back home. It has everything you need: three runaways, lots of amenities and of course, an indoor waterfall that no one really cares about after a year.

The airport you may not be familiar with is Seletar Airport.


Built in 1929, Seletar Airport was completed by the British just before World War II, when it served as a military base for the Royal Air Force.

The airport received its first commercial flight in 1930 – a Dutch East Indies Airways plane carrying eight passengers from Jakarta.

This made Seletar Airport both a civilian airport and a military base.

It was only in the 50s that the commercial side of it was shifted to Kallang Airport, then Paya Lebar Airport, and finally Changi Airport.

Changi Airport Group later took over the management of Seletar Airport in 2009.

Currently, some 30 global aerospace companies have Maintenance, Repair, & Overhaul operations at Seletar Airport, providing aircraft maintenance and servicing for narrow-body aircrafts and business jets.

The airport has a single runway with 27 aircraft stands, 100 square metres of warehouse space and can handle 840 tons of freight per day.

The airport underwent refurbishment in 2015 as part of plans to relieve pressure on Changi Airport by increasing Seletar Airport’s capacity and move smaller and slower aircraft from Changi to Seletar airport.

A new passenger terminal building opened on 19 November 2018, replacing the previous passenger terminal. The terminal houses four check-in counters, six immigration lanes, two security screening stations and a gate holdroom that can accommodate 200 passengers.

Seletar Airport is also a place for aviation training for those trying to obtain their Singapore Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) Private Pilot Licence (PPL).

Today, Seletar Airport has a handling capacity of over 700,000 passenger movements per annum and is usually used by the rich who can afford to fly private.

Sure, you could land a private jet in Changi Airport, but once anyone sees a celebrity, they’ll be surrounded by fans and cameras in 0.00003 seconds.

After flying for many hours, all anyone wants to do is rest.

Even if Taylor Swift was already sipping champagne and resting in her private jet, it’s not the same as resting in a comfortable hotel.

Being swarmed by a mob of fans shoving their cameras in your face and trying to hold your hand isn’t exactly the definition of relaxing. Hence, celebrities need an alternative place to land – one where they are less likely to be disturbed.

Seletar Airport offers exclusivity, efficiency, and privacy that Changi Airport can’t. Moreover, parking a private jet is cheaper in Seletar Airport.

Not that it really matters when you and even your cats are millionaires or billionaires.

It seems the superstar really likes exclusivity anyway, given that her shows in South-east Asia are exclusive to Singapore only.

And, celebrities aren’t the only ones who use Seletar Airport.

Back then, when Ong Beng Seng (a Singapore-based Malaysian billionaire businessman) came back to Singapore, he also landed at Seletar Airport.

Reader: Oh, so only rich people can use Seletar Airport?

Actually, you might have a chance to use this airport if you’re headed to Kuala Lumpur (KL).

As of now, there is only one commercial airline and route. It’s a flight to Subang, which is a 30-minute drive away from KL.

Most Singaporeans going to KL for leisure don’t travel by plane, and usually drive there instead. Hence, majority of the passengers who take this commercial route to KL from Seletar Airport are business travellers.

But who knows, there may be more flights in the future. We could be using Seletar Airport for many flights to Bali, Vietnam, and more 10 years from now.

Maybe there will be another indoor waterfall there too.

However, since Seletar Airport is not designed to support larger planes, the chances of there being a flight to places like London or Norway from Seletar are slim.

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