Travelling is an adventure and the journey should be as enjoyable as the destination. But mother nature can sometimes force a change of plans with dark clouds, a heavy downpour and lightning.
With the peak travel season coinciding with the annual rainy season, Changi Airport has in place a slew of measures to help make it as comfortable and convenient as possible for its passengers despite possible showers.
Lightning often comes with rain
Singapore is recognised as a global leader in many fields. But did you know that it is also one of the places with the most lightning strikes in the world?
The high occurance of thunderstorms in Singapore is often accompanied by lightning, especially towards the year-end wet season. This has a direct impact on airport operations.
Ensuring the safety of airside workers and taking care of passengers
Changi Airport doesn't compromise on the safety of its workers, especially when high risk lightning strikes is a real possibility.
For example, a lightning mast is installed at every aircraft stand and an underground wire mesh is fitted to ensure that ground handling crew are always on equi-potential when working on the tarmac. Flights are earthed upon arrival at the aircraft stands, and wireless headsets are used to provide lightning protection for the ground handling crew. These measures serve to reduce the safety risk to staff while operating in lightning conditions.
Behind the scenes, Changi Airport Group (CAG) and its airport partners are sharing latest details on the weather pattern and coming together in anticipation of the follow up action needed in case the weather doesn't clear up.
Despite these measures, workers may sometimes stop work in extreme weather situations to maintain their safety.
If there is a need for passengers to wait a little longer for their bags to reach them, the Changi team knows it is important to keep passengers informed and make any wait as comfortable as possible.
Keeping passengers updated
If bags are ever delayed because of bad weather and a lightning risk on the airside, the Belt TVs at the flight's assigned baggage belt is where information will be prominently displayed to let passengers know. To make the information even more useful to passengers, Changi lets passengers know the reason why it may take longer and provides an estimated waiting time.
To make the wait more comfortable, Changi Airport staff will roll out a trolley with packet drinks, water and light snacks like biscuits to offer to affected passengers at the baggage belt. Staff will also point out where passengers can sit to rest. In addition, public announcements will be made to let passengers know that their bags will be delayed because of adverse weather. If the thunderstorm persists, passengers can also consider approaching their airline for help with their bags.