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Paya Lebar Airport

Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB)
Pangkalan Udara Paya Lebar
Paya Lebar Air Base Crest Badge
Airport type Military
Owner Ministry of Defence (Singapore)
Operator Republic of Singapore Air Force
Location Paya Lebar, Singapore
Elevation AMSL 65 ft / 20 m
Coordinates 01°21′37″N 103°54′34″E / 1.36028°N 103.90944°E / 1.36028; 103.90944
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 3,780 12,401 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF

Paya Lebar Air Base (Simplified Chinese: 巴耶利峇空军基地; Malay: Pangkalan Udara Paya Lebar) (IATA: QPG, ICAO: WSAP) was built as a civilian airport, known as Singapore International Airport, in 1955. The air base goes by the motto of "Strength Through Readiness".


It was a hub for Malayan Airways at this time (the other being Kuala Lumpur), and the airline had its first flight outside Southeast Asia in 1958, using a DC-4 leased from Qantas, flying to Hong Kong. Turboprops were introduced over the next few years, and the name was changed to Malaysian Airways. In 1962 a joint RAF/Singapore civil Air Traffic Control service was formed to provide Military cover for Air Defence. During that time Britannia aircraft of British Eagle provided transport for UK military. Comet 4C's were common traffic and the new VC10 arrived reducing flight time, (Using UK and S'pore time it was theoretically possible to land before it had taken off). rather than the 24hrs-with stops- of the Britannia.

In 1966, the company focused more on Singapore, buying Boeing 707s, headquartering itself in that country, and renaming itself Malaysia-Singapore Airlines - with a notable fluorescent yellow livery. Its primary hub became Paya Lebar, and services began to reach out further into North Asia.

From 1979 to 1980, British Airways, in conjunction with Singapore Airlines, began supersonic Concorde services from London's Heathrow Airport, to Paya Lebar Singapore.

Malaysia-Singapore Airlines was dissolved in 1972; Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines was formed - keeping all the above 707s; and Singapore Airlines remained at Paya Lebar. But passenger numbers rose from 1.7 million to 4 million between 1970 and 1975. The airport was constrained by housing estates and although some work was done to keep it operational in the meantime, construction began on the present Singapore International Airport at Changi in 1975, opening in 1981. Paya Lebar then closed to civil traffic, and Changi took over Paya Lebar's IATA code of SIN.

Conversion to Military use

Paya Lebar began to be gradually converted into a military air-force base from Late 1967 onwards. During that year, an Air Movement Centre was constructed to handle passengers and cargo arriving on Republic of Singapore Air Force flights, Ministry of Defence charter flights and foreign military aircraft. It became a complete military airbase in 1981 when Singapore Changi Airport was opened and was subsequently renamed as Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) on the same year.

Paya Lebar Air Base

The air base currently houses aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules and the upgraded AMRAAM capable F-5S/T Tiger IIs.

The Flying squadrons are:

  • 122 Squadron with 10 C-130 Hercules,
  • 141 Squadron with 7 F-5S/T Tiger-IIs before it was disbanded in Nov 2005,
  • 144 Squadron with 22 F-5S/T Tiger-IIs,
  • 149 Squadron with 16 F-5S/T Tiger-IIs; currently transitioning to the F-15SG (Strike)

The Support Squadrons are:

  • Air Logistics Squadron (ALS)
  • Airfield Maintenance Squadron (AMS)
  • Field Defence Squadron (FDS)
  • Flying Support Squadron (FSS)

Photo gallery

Side note

  • Occasionally, Paya Lebar Air Base plays host to commercial/VIP aircraft as well. Air Force One landed at the base during President George W. Bush's two visits to Singapore in October 2003 and November 2006.
  • Air Force Two carrying Vice President Dick Cheney also made a brief refueling stop en route from Australia in 2007.
  • On 14 November 2009, Air Force One carrying President Barack Obama landed at Paya Lebar Air Base, to attend the APEC Singapore 2009 Summit.

Air Force Museum

The RSAF Museum
The RSAF Museum

The RSAF maintains the Air Force Museum, which is open to the public and showcases the air force's history and capabilities. The museum is located along Airport Road beside Paya Lebar Air Base, near Eunos MRT Station.

RSAF Open House

The RSAF Open House is a bi-annual event which is usually held at Paya Lebar Air Base and in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of Republic of Singapore Air Force in 2008, it was open to the public for two days from 30 August to 31 August 2008. Also, the RSAF Black Knights was present for another aerobatic display to thrill the crowds.


The old passenger terminal building and control tower still stand, though they now house air force units and are off limits to the public. Nevertheless, much of the interior still remains intact and is almost completely preserved from the time it was first built. The road which used to lead to the old passenger terminal is also still known as Airport Road.

The above content comes from Wikipedia and is published under free licenses – click here to read more.

General Info
Country Singapore
Time UTC+8
Latitude 1.360417
01° 21' 37.50" N
Longitude 103.909530
103° 54' 34.31" E
Elevation 65 feet
20 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 000° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Near City Singapore
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 118.05
AMC OPS 349.4
GND 118.05
ATIS 148.9
APP 119.9

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
02/20 12401 x 200 feet
3780 x 61 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME SJ SINJON 082X 113.5 8.9 NM 021.7

Fuel Jet A1+, Jet A1 with icing inhibitor.

Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

AF All AMC msn and AMC contract acft ctc AMC OPS 30 min out with arr/dep info and coord concurrent svc.
CAUTION Rwy alignment is identical to nearby Singapore Changi. Exer extreme vigilance when apch either arpt; make full use of navaids and positively ident ev aid used; use ILS fac at Singapore Changi. BASH. High ground 1 NM N of Rwy 20 thld, 105' MSL
FUEL Avbl 0001-0630Z Mon-Fri; 0001-0430Z Sat; Clsd Sun and Hol, OT 12 hour PN rqr. A1(ST. Apt Svcs PTE) fone C65-546-9880.
LGT ALS Modified Calvert I.
MISC Prk bays for tran acft by arng.
OPR HOURS Opr 2300-1100Z Mon-Fri; 2300-0500Z Sat; PPR Sun, hol and OT fr RSAF HQ via Paya Lebar OPS.
RSTD PPR for tran acft fr RSAF HQ OPS. 30 min PN for emerg/diversions. Acft opr cleared by HQ RSAF to ferry dangerous cargo (DC) into afld will advs AMC or Base OPS of DC classification and Nr, and req prk info prior to arr. Rwy closures and displ thld during const. phases. Consult latest NOTAMS for current info.

The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
For more up-to-date information please refer to other sources.

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