His head’s in the clouds but his feet are firmly planted on the ground

His head might be in the clouds on what he wants next, but Ng Yeow Meng has his feet firmly planted on the ground


Ibrought a jacket to wear only because you told me to, otherwise I’m not usually dressed like this,” is one of the first things Ng Yeow Meng, Founder and Managing irector of WingsOverA­sia says to the Jetgala team during our lunch interview.

This much is true, and I can testify. I hadn’t met Ng many times prior to this interview, but he is usually always comfortabl­y dressed in polo t-shirts and slacks. Ng is easy-going in the truest sense of the word and has an infectious personalit­y that makes it easy for him to get along with anyone that crosses paths with him.

You can hardly tell then that Ng is Founder and Managing irector of WingsOverA­sia, a lifestyle and concierge brand that caters to private aviators and operates out of a $15 million, 72,000 sqft hangar and FBO at Seletar Airport.

But this relaxed persona is the image Ng wants to portray of WingsOverA­sia, which is also a recreation­al aviation club based at the FBO. WingsOverA­sia started out as a pet project by Ng. He had connected with flying clubs all over Asia


Come and network with other members during the monthly WingsOverA­sia brunches. It’s a great opportunit­y to know more about the club and its activities, and hear from members themselves the fun and benefits a membership with WingsOverA­sia will bring. Follow for updates. when he was younger and had tried to help coordinate the clubs to connect with each other using social media – Ng even tried developing his own social networking site like a Facebook for aviation enthusiast­s, although he admits that for such a niche interest like aviation, it made more sense to focus his efforts on building the network using someone else’s social media platform than for him to continue developing his own.

The online network quickly grew offline, as Ng started organising events centred around private aviation. In , Ng took the plunge and worked on WingsOverA­sia full time, helping to grow the network to include private jet owners, pilots, pilots-in-training and other aviation flying enthusiast­s. Then in , Ng opened WingsOverA­sia’s headquarte­rs at Seletar Airport.

WingsOverA­sia just celebrated its -year anniversar­y, an outstandin­g achievemen­t for something that started out as a hobby and is now a fully-fledged business that also handles the buying, selling and importing of leisure aircraft, something that relevant authoritie­s in Singapore were initially hesitant to support. “Most flying clubs [in Singapore] were only flying one model of aircraft, whereas we were handling all sorts, so the authoritie­s questioned if all these models could operate within a tight space.”

Ng’s workaround? Attending meetings and collaborat­ive discussion­s himself on how to improve and refine air traffic and

airport processes. “We developed SOPs and procedures hand-in-hand with the approvals of CAAS Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and CA Changi Airport roup to support and facilitate these kinds of private operations,” he explained. Ten years on, the WingsOverA­sia’s management team continues to sit in at regular meetings regarding air traffic and airport operations.

It is this solid infrastruc­ture of working closely with regulators that has made WingsOverA­sia one of the more popular places to learn flying and base private aircrafts in Singapore, especially if it’s a bucket list item to be crossed off. The flying club has an approved flying programme that is backed by profession­al competence from maintenanc­e and support to flying operations.

But that’s not the only thing that draws in the crowds of wannabe pilots. Unlike other flying clubs where the learning is done just one-on-one, WingsOverA­sia encourages interactio­n with other pilots and club members as well. “We really focus on the interactio­n with each other; it’s why we hold a monthly brunch for members to catch up with each other,” Ng shared.

The social aspect of WingsOverA­sia is what differenti­ates this leisure club from others that might be more popular with other UHNWIs. “Other leisure or business clubs might brand themselves as a place to network for business, but I find that too stiff for my liking. There’s no dress code here and members are encouraged to come as they are.”

“I designed the clubhouse to be as cosy and homely as possible, with lots of open space for people to mill around because it is meant to be as unintimida­ting as possible,” Ng further explained. “Barriers are broken here because you’re just talking man-to-man, not CEO-to-CEO.”

At these monthly brunches, members and non-members alike get together to catch up on their latest aviation exploits or just to share more with each other. “There’s a misconcept­ion that you must be a jet owner or a pilot to join [WingsOverA­sia], but it’s really that shared passion in aviation that has created this community and family.You don’t have to fly to have that interest and share in our experience­s.”

To help build these experience­s, WingsOverA­sia holds short trips quite regularly and annual, long flying tours that take about one to two weeks to complete. Ng assures that non-flying members are always welcome to hitch a ride with those who do fly on trips like these. The short trips are some of Ng’s favourite to plan. He calls them ‘Mari Mari Makan Flyouts’, where members in and out of Singapore fly out together to neighbouri­ng countries just to eat.

In case you’re wondering, no, they don’t fly out to eat at high-end restaurant­s that require reservatio­ns in advance or a quick call to a concierge service to open up a table. In fact, more often than not, it’s to a small diner in some back alley with no real address or even a menu.

Ng, who’s a huge fan of the late chef and travel host, Anthony Bourdain, is equally passionate about food and travel as he is about flying. “I like to think I’m chasing after authentici­ty, just that I fly my own plane,” he says with a cheeky grin.

For Ng, that’s his dream of where WingsOverA­sia will be in the near future. Heavily inspired by Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisine, as well as his television series, Parts Unknown, Ng wants to host a food and travel show that centres around aviation. “In his book, [Bourdain] says that ‘the journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousnes­s of one’s intent’. I want to show that leisure jets can be a part of that.”

It’s a lofty dream for the incredibly busy man, but for now, Ng is just as happy planning his short trips and letting people know that WingsOverA­sia isn’t just another billionair­e boys’ club – it’s a place for a community that just loves taking flight.

Again, I can testify to this. While we’re taking a walk around the club’s facilities looking for places to hold our photoshoot, we’re interrupte­d ever so often by members walking in wearing khaki shorts, who stop us in our tracks to greet Ng. There’s hardly any indication that many of them have a plane parked in the hangar just next door.

There’s a sign near the bar that reads “Meeting people in high places”, which Ng had wanted to add the word ‘literally’ at the end as a joke. But maybe for down-to-earth Ng, it’d be more fitting to say he keeps WingsOverA­sia grounded.

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