Singapore Flyer resumes operations after suspension from January’s technical issue

Singapore Flyer has announced that it resumed its operations on Sunday (1 April) after being suspended for experiencing a technical issue on 25 January early this year, which led to 61 passengers being stuck.

In a Facebook post, it said that the necessary safety checks and tests have been carried out to the satisfaction of the relevant authorities, the Building and Construction Authority and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

According to TODAY, the cause of the problem was a faulty part belonging to the mechanism at the foot of the wheel which allows it to rotate and that the part has been replaced.

“Safety is Singapore Flyer’s first and utmost priority – we assure all our customers and partners that rigorous tests have been conducted to ensure that the Singapore Flyer is safe for everyone to enjoy. Once again, we apologise for the inconvenience caused, and we look forward to welcoming you again,” the Singapore Flyer added.

Dozens of guests could be seen boarding the Flyer on Sunday morning as the tourist attraction appeared to be back in business.

The wheel was opened in 2008, construction having taken about 2½ years. It carried its first paying passengers on 11 February, opened to the public on 1 March, and was officially opened on 15 April. It has 28 air-conditioned capsules, each able to accommodate 28 passengers, and incorporates a three-storey terminal building.

The Flyer has an overall height of 165 metres (541 ft) and was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until the 167.6 m (550 ft) High Roller, which is 2.6 m (9 ft) taller than the Flyer, opened on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, US, on 31 March 2014. The previous record holder, the Star of Nanchang, in Jiangxi, China, is 160 m (525 ft) tall, although its 153 m (502 ft) diameter wheel is larger than the Flyer’s 150 m (492 ft) wheel.

This was not the first time the attraction made a headline.

In July 2008, the Flyer was stopped because of a minor fault in the braking system.

On 4 December 2008, the wheel was stuck for nearly five hours due to bad weather and some 70 people were stranded.

On 23 December 2008, the wheel stopped and trapped 173 passengers for about six hours. The breakdown was caused by a short circuit and fire in the Flyer’s wheel control room, which cut off the air-conditioning in the wheel. Eleven passengers were evacuated via a sling-like device from a few of the capsules, and those stranded were given food and drink.

The wheel restarted nearly seven hours after it had stopped and two people were hospitalized. The Flyer was closed indefinitely and an investigation into the cause of the malfunction was launched.

The wheel re-opened on 26 January 2009 after the Singapore Police received the final safety certification report from the Conformity Assessment Board. Following this breakdown, additional back-up systems costing about $3 million were installed. These included a generator, winches, three anti-fire and smoke systems, and heat detection devices.

On 18 July 2010, the ride was shut after one of its electrical cables supplying power to the air-conditioning systems was struck by lightning, affecting the air-conditioning system. Some 200 passengers had to be evacuated. The Flyer re-opened on 20 July 2010 after repair work was completed.