Singapore takes steps to ensure aircraft safety despite haze

SINGAPORE - In light of the haze situation, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) have taken steps to ensure that aircraft operations at Changi Airport continue to be conducted safely and efficiently even in low visibility conditions.

The steps, taken with the cooperation of other airport stakeholder agencies, include an increase in the separation time between aircraft take-offs and landings. This precautionary measure has been implemented since June 19.

Airfield lights, such as the runway and approach lights, are turned on even in daytime to enhance the visibility of the runways. So far, no significant delays in aircraft departures and arrivals have been experienced, CAAS and CAG said in a joint statement.

The statement elaborated that Changi Airport has the facilities and procedures necessary for the safe landing of aircraft in low visibility conditions in accordance with international standards.

It is equipped with instrument landing systems (ILS), which provide position information needed to guide aircraft as they make their approach for landing.

Under normal circumstances, Changi Airport can allow an aircraft to land safely when the runway visual range (RVR) is more than 550 metres.

Should the RVR fall to between 300 and 550 metres, Changi Airport can continue to allow aircraft to land safely by implementing more stringent measures.

These include enforcing obstacle protection in areas around the runways to protect the integrity of the ILS signals. Secondary power supply for essential equipment, such as runway lights, will also be put on standby.

There will also be greater separation between aircraft landings and take-offs. Some delays and disruptions to aircraft operations, including flight cancellations, can be expected.

In the event that the RVR falls below 300 metres, Changi Airport said they will not be able to accept aircraft landings for safety reasons. However, the airport will continue to operate and aircraft can continue to take-off safely, in accordance with each airline's policy.

CAAS and CAG said that they are closely monitoring the situation and working with the airline and airport community.

"The safety of aircraft operations at Changi Airport remains top priority, and every effort will be made to minimise their disruption," CAAS and CAG said.