RSAF Open House returns after 7 years; public can ballot for aircraft rides, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

RSAF Open House returns after 7 years; public can ballot for aircraft rides

The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) open house is returning after a seven-year break, with opportunities for rides on the Chinook helicopter and next generation Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

An aerial refuelling and military transport aircraft, the MRTT is able to carry out missions such as transporting personnel across large distances.

Other than refuelling RSAF’s F-16 and F-15SG fighters in mid-air, it can also refuel another MRTT, enabling the refuelled A330 to travel further or stay in the air longer on a single flight.

The open house will be held at Paya Lebar Air Base on Sept 9 and 10.

Members of the public can ballot for a ride on the aircraft from mid-July, and results will be announced on RSAF’s social media platforms. There will also be online contests to win seats on these limited flights. More details will be revealed closer to the date.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Chief of Staff-Air Staff, Brigadier-General Chan Ching Hao, said the open house is part of RSAF’s 55th anniversary celebrations this year.

The open house is being held during the September school holidays to attract more families, added BG Chan, the chairman of the RSAF55 Steering Committee.

About 250,000 visitors are expected over the two days, said this year’s open house chairman, Brigadier-General Amos Yeo.

“We aim to share our stories with Singaporeans, and thank them for their support over the past 55 years,” added BG Yeo, who is also the Commander of the Air Power Generation Command.

The event will see the return of crowd favourites, including static displays of fighter aircraft and the Aster 30 missile system.

The air force on Thursday also unveiled a new bright blue RSAF55 tail flash on an F-15SG fighter jet to commemorate the anniversary.

(From left) Brigadier-General Amos Yeo, ME6 Aaron Tan and Brigadier-General Chan Ching Hao, at the unveiling of the RSAF55 tail flash on the F-15SG at Paya Lebar Air Base on June 8. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

BG Chan said the marking will be taking to the sky soon during training sessions, and will also make an appearance at the National Day Parade (NDP) on Aug 9. The public can also see it up close at the open house.

RSAF last had a physical open house in 2016. It held an open house online in 2021 due to Covid-19 constraints.

This year’s event will include more digital elements to make it more interactive and immersive for event-goers, said BG Yeo.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, RSAF also launched its community service campaign RSAF Cares, where air force members serve in community projects and raise funds for community initiatives from June to September this year.

These projects include fundraising activities, blood donation drives with the Red Cross and collaborations with non-profit organisation Bringing You Technology Empowerment, to teach computer literacy skills to children from underprivileged families.

RSAF Air Imagery Intelligence Expert ME1 Tan Wan Yi, 26, who participated in the project’s first run with her squadron last year, said the children were curious when they heard that the volunteers were from the air force.

“They would usually ask, ‘Do you fly an airplane? Do you fight enemies?’. They will also steer the questions towards the superheroes that they like who can fly,” said ME1 Tan, who joined the air force in 2020.

She and her team also applied some of their work expertise while volunteering, and showed the children satellite imagery on online maps and pointed out landmarks to them.

Members of the public can support the RSAF Cares campaign by donating to its charity drive, which starts in August, said the deputy chairman of the campaign ME6 Aaron Tan, who is also Commander of the Air Engineering Training Institute.

Singaporeans can also expect an enhanced aerial display at this year’s NDP, with more aircraft and manoeuvres than in 2022. The RSAF said more details will be shared at a later date.