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Aviation boom in Asia helps S'pore's Jet Aviation to soar

Publication Date : 29-05-2014


The growth of business aviation in Asia has turbocharged growth at Jet Aviation, which services and maintains corporate jets.

The firm has more than doubled its facility at the aerospace park in Seletar after two strong years, said its Asia-Pacific general manager Gary Dolski.

A US$25 million expansion that ended this week has added a new and bigger hangar that allows the company to service more and bigger planes.

There is also a lounge with private rooms, a kitchen and shower facilities for guests before or after flights.

Jet Aviation, which set up shop here in 1996, also has a facility in Hong Kong and plans to expand in the region with the Seletar facility as its headquarters, said Dolski, who came to Singapore about two years ago.

He did not disclose more details of the expansion plans.

Industry experts estimate that the number of business aircraft in Asia shot up from 947 in 2002 to 1,566 in 2012, a growth of 65 per cent. In the past decade or so, the number of such planes based in Singapore has more than doubled to around 35.

With more wealth pouring into the region and a growing number of high-net-worth individuals, Asia's business aviation sector is expected to continue to grow, the experts said.

Dolski said that while operational costs here are higher than in other South-east Asian countries, there are good reasons to make Singapore the nerve centre for Jet Aviation's Asian business.

"We started here in 1996 with 15 people and now we have about 120. The reason we are here is pretty simple. The government here gets it and what it has done to develop Seletar Aerospace Park is amazing."

With aerospace firms providing a comprehensive range of services and expertise clustered in one area, business becomes more convenient, he added.

Dolski noted: "We're here, Hawker is here next door and there is Fokker and Bombardier and others. It's a one-stop shop. And even though I compete with these guys, we also work together. We have an interiors shop and we will work with Hawker to help do their interiors. They have a big paint shop so I'll let them paint my aircraft instead of spending S$5 million (US$3.9 million) to set up my own paint shop."

Jet Aviation is not the only firm expanding at Seletar.

Other long-time tenants, including Singapore Technologies Aerospace, Hawker Pacific and Fokker Services, have either expanded existing facilities or built new ones over the past few years.

JTC Corp, which is spearheading the development of the aerospace park, is building two new towers - 10 and 11 storeys - and seven standalone factories to cater to a growing number of small and medium-sized local companies keen to set up shop at Seletar.

The new structures, to be ready next year, are in addition to an existing seven-storey building - JTC Aviation One - and eight factories.

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