PREVIEW: Singapore Airshow 2018

Introduction: the Singapore Airshow is Asia’s largest airshow in terms of business, attracting many of the world’s largest aerospace companies. As well as an important trade event on the 6th-9th February, the show is also open to the public on the 10th-11th February, when spectators can view aerial and static displays. The official website is singaporeairshow.com.

Visitor information: held at the Changi Exhibition Centre, the Singapore Airshow is not primarily aimed at members of the public and therefore a poor visitor experience is to be expected in comparison to many other international airshows. Visitors on the public days can expect up to 90 minutes of aerial displays and around 40 aircraft on static display, with many leaving the event before gates are opened to the public. Parking is limited and expensive, so a free shuttle bus  is available from Expo, near to Expo MRT station on the Downtown Line and the Changi branch of the East West Line.

Tickets: the Singapore Airshow is a ticketed event, with ticket sales made through SISTIC. Public day tickets represent poor value for money, priced at $22 per adult and $9 per child, with an additional admin charge. A group package (four people including parking) costs $166. Industry professionals can attend the trade days for $60 per day or $200 for all four trade days after registration on the Singapore Airshow website. An additional charge of $120 will be levied for use of the show’s car parking facilities on the trade days. Parking passes on the public days are only available as a part of the group package.

Tips: Changi Exhibition Centre’s remote location and lack of parking make the free bus service the primary route to the show. However, this leads to severe overcrowding, particularly during security clearance. The resulting queues can easily take many hours to traverse. If you wish to catch the morning aerial display, you must be at Expo at or before the time of the first buses (07:30) in our experience, although even then it is likely you will not be on site for around two hours. Our recommendation for arriving at the show, therefore, is to use a taxi, which will allow you to bypass the lengthy security queues at Expo and use a separate security facility at the Changi Exhibition Centre which will take mere minutes to transit through. When leaving the show, taxis are generally not an option, with taxi queues of up to four hours in 2016 and a surcharge of $10 levied on all journeys leaving the Exhibition Centre. Therefore it is advisable to join the shuttle bus queue moments before the end of the last aerial display, or prepare to face at least another hour of queuing.

2016 show: the last iteration of the Singapore Airshow featured demonstrations by the Black Eagles from the Republic of Korea, Royal Malaysian Air Force Su-30MKM, Dassault Rafale C from France and a unique pairing of AH-64D Apache and F-15SG Eagle from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, participating in a high-quality but woefully short aerial display. The bulk of the static display had left before the public weekend. The trade days, meanwhile, saw slow business and were marred with logistical problems.

2018 show: this year will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, with a unique three-ship flying display expected, in addition to a strong presence in the static display. The remainder of the show will closely mirror the 2016 flying display, to the frustration of many enthusiasts: of the international performers listed so far, all but one have appeared at one or both of the last two iterations of the event. This includes the third consecutive appearance of the RoKAF Black Eagles, and the welcome return of the Jupiter Aerobatic Team, Dassault Rafale and Sukhoi Su-30. The sole Singapore Airshow debut will come from the RTAF JSA-39C Gripen. Further additions to the lineup are possible.

Flying display timings:
Practice| Thursday 1st February | 10:30-11:10
RSAF50 media event| Friday 2nd February | 10:30-11:25
RSAF Families Day| Saturday 3rd February | 10:30-11:45
Media preview | Sunday 4th February | 10:30-11:50
Rehearsal (reserve session) | Monday 5th February | 10:30-11:25
Trade day | Tuesday 6th February | 12:30-13:55
Trade day | Wednesday 7th February | 11:30-12:55
Trade day | Thursday 8th February | 11:30-12:20
Trade day | Friday 9th February | NO FLYING
Public Day | Saturday 10th February | 11:30-12:15 & 14:30-15:15
Public Day | Sunday 11th February | 11:30-12:10 & 14:30-15:15

Confirmed aircraft:

Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF):

  • Black Eagles x8 T-50B Golden Eagle (F)

Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU):

  • Jupiter Aerobatic Team x6 KT-1 Woongbi (F)

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF):

  • F-16C Fighting Falcon x2 & F-15SG Eagle (F)

Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM):

  • Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker (F)

French Air Force:

  • Dassault Rafale C (F) TBC

Royal Thai Air Force:

  • JAS-39C Gripen (F)

United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces (PACAF):

  • F-16C Fighting Falcon (F)

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF):

  • EA-18G Growler (S)
  • E-7A Wedgetail (S)
  • P-8A Poseidon (S)

Civilian:

  • Airbus A350-1000 (S-T)
  • Bombardier CSeries CS300 (S-T)
  • Bombardier Q400 (S-T)
  • Bombardier Challenger 350 (S)
  • Bombardier Global 6000 (S)
  • Dornier 328 (S)
  • Gulfstream G280 (S)
  • Gulfstream G550 (S)
  • Gulfstream G650 (S)

(F) – Flying all days    (F-T) – Flying trade days    (FP) – Flypast    (FP-P) – Flypast public days
(S) – Static all days    (S-T) Static trade days    “TBC” – not officially confirmed    “aircraft” – Cancelled