The spokes of the Singapore Flyer have begun turning again after four months of suspension, but the attraction’s operating hours will be cut by more than half for the safety of its guests amid the Covid-19 health situation.
The Singapore Flyer said that operations resumed yesterday after approval was obtained from the authorities on Thursday. A Flyer spokesman said the structural integrity of the attraction’s observation wheel has been thoroughly tested by experts. But it has taken some precautionary measures to allow guests to enjoy its flights and facilities “with peace of mind”.
It will increase the frequency of cleaning, sanitisation and disinfection of the wheel’s capsules. Common areas and facilities throughout the premises will also be scrubbed more often. Temperature screening will be mandatory for visitors and employees.
Its operating hours – initially from 8.30am to 10.30pm daily – will also be reduced to just six hours, from 3pm to 9pm.
The flight operations of the wheel were suspended by the Building and Construction Authority on Nov 19 last year due to a glitch affecting a section of the outer layer of one of the spoke cables.
The Singapore Tourism Board has said that visitor arrivals this year are expected to fall by about 25 to 30 per cent as governments across the world impose border restrictions and people choose to stay home. Asked if this affected the Flyer’s decision to restart operations, a spokesman said this forecast has been taken into account.
“As one of the key players in Singapore’s tourism sector, we must play our part in supporting and initiating recovery plans,” she said.
During the Flyer’s suspension, its tenants at the retail section continued with normal business.
The attraction, which has become an icon on the Singapore skyline since its opening in 2008, has had issues over the years.
In December 2008, a fire broke out in the wheel control room, causing 173 passengers to be trapped for about six hours. Operations were suspended in January 2018 for two months due to a “technical issue”.