Please pardon Changi Airport baggage handlers

It’s holiday season and Changi Airport seeks your understanding if you are to experience delays in retrieving your luggage. A contributing factor to the delay is the monsoon season and the increased lightning risk it brings. Heavy rain and lightning can force ground handlers to temporarily stop retrieval of bagging from aicraft.

It is extra dangerous because in the evening of lightning, there is a possibility of “side flash”, where dangerous static electric discharge occurs when workers stand close to the aircraft and even when they are not in contact with any object.

It was reported that last month, bad weather led to baggage delays for 1.5% of flights. Out of 14,971 flights, there were baggage delays for 225 of them.

So what can travellers do?

For a start, be patient and wait. Changi Airport will alert passengers via display panels and issue announcements. “Lightning cubes” will be placed on baggage claim carousels to alert passengers of the delay.

CAG will be offering refreshments such as bottled water, canned coffee, packet Milo and biscuits while they wait for their bags. Vacant space in baggage claim halls will be converted into areas where passengers can use Wifi and power points will be available for them to charge their equipment.

In the case of very long delay, some airlines offer a complimentary baggage delivery option.

So give the workers a break. CAG is trying hard to keep their workers safe.

Singapore has one of the highest lightning activity in the world. Ground handlers have to use wireless headsets which help to remove the possibility of lightning induced static discharge from aircraft. It is also compulsory for all aircraft to perform three-point aircraft grounding, to prevent the accumulation of electrical charge by dissipating them to the ground safely.

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Samantha Wong

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