National Day fly-pasts draw small crowds in city centre and at vantage points islandwide

People gathered at vantage points in the city centre and elsewhere to get a good view of the show. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans showed up in small groups across the island to catch this year's National Day fly-pasts on Monday morning (Aug 9), many of them decked out in red and white.

Chinook helicopters and F-15SG fighter jets put on the display across Singapore from about 9.50am.

The Chinooks, each escorted by a pair of Apache helicopters, carried the Singapore flag. Fighter jets also flew in formation over the heartland at over 600kmh.

People gathered at vantage points in the city centre and elsewhere to get a good view of the show.

Staff nurse Halifah Anapi, 54, cycled to the Marina Barrage from Tanjong Rhu with her husband and daughter, getting there around 8am.

"The parade is usually in the evenings, but as it is in the morning this time, we thought it might be less crowded," she said.

"If there are fireworks in the evening for the Aug 21 parade, we might come out again to watch it. National Day is special to us."

She added: "I'm proud to be a Singaporean and happy to celebrate it with the whole nation. As a healthcare worker, I say Singapore has been managing the Covid-19 situation very well - keep it up Singapore!"

At the Marina Barrage, about 150 people could be seen on the roof, with groups spaced out for social distancing.

People watching the state flag fly-past from the Marina Barrage on Aug 9, 2021. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Others gathered near the Padang, the location of Singapore's first National Day parade in 1966.

Site coordinator Maria Santha Monise Amalkumar, a 36-year-old Indian national, was walking around the Padang to catch the sights.

"I'm a foreign worker, but I love Singapore. I'm very proud to be here," he said.

"I came at 7.30am. I'm not meeting my friends later because we can't gather today, but I'll be going home to watch the parade as well."

The Padang itself was closed to the public. The area around the field, though emptier than usual, had about 50 people, spaced apart, with some holding cameras ready to capture the fly-past. Many wore masks with Singapore's lion head symbol printed on them.

People also gathered on the 47th floor rooftop garden of Skyville@Dawson, a Housing Board development in Queenstown. Several families from around the area brought their young children.

People watching the fighter jets flying in formation at the rooftop garden of Skyville@Dawson on Aug 9, 2021. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Dawson resident and secondary school teacher Sultan Shaheed, 43, was on the roof with his son Aamir Eshan, three.

"My son loves the planes. I initially brought him up here last year as one of the pilots was my former student but now it is becoming a habit (to watch the fly-past from the roof)," he said.

The heartland fly-pasts were arranged for the second year in a row to bring cheer to residents while Singapore continues to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.

There were two flag parties. One covered the eastern coastline, passing by East Coast, Changi, Pasir Ris, Bedok, Punggol and Khatib. The other flew across the western areas, covering West Coast, Jurong, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah and Choa Chu Kang.

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