2 - 16 June 2015 Free hot air balloon rides at SEA Games Carnival

This article originally appeared on channelnewsasia

SINGAPORE: As part of the 28th SEA Games Carnival at the Singapore Sports Hub, visitors will be able to enjoy a bird's-eye view of the activities on a hot air balloon.

Complimentary rides open to the public on Tuesday (Jun 2) and will be available until Jun 16, from 8-10am or 5-8pm. Rides will however be suspended during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games on Jun 5 and Jun 16, between 5pm and 8pm.

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The 10-minute ride begins with a safety briefing on the ground. The pilot then takes as many as three passengers up to a height of 25 metres, or about eight storeys high. Those who want to get on the hot air balloon have to be above 18 years old and at least 1.4 metres tall. Members of the public need to sign up at the UnionPay booth on-site where queues will open an hour before each ride starts.

Organisers said about 150 hot air balloon flights will take place over the 15 days.

'SECURITY TOP MOST PRIORITY'

Not many know the work that goes on behind the scenes just to get a hot air balloon up in the air. It is a tedious process which takes about an hour daily.

A team that was specially flown in from France first installs four anchor lines which are weighed down by four tonnes of concrete each. The balloon is then laid out, before being filled with cold air.

But what makes it a hot air balloon is the 2,200 cubic metres of hot air that is blasted from gas cylinders installed in the basket.

Yang Wenhui, general manager of UnionPay International Southeast Asia, said: "Security is our top most priority for the whole activity, so we just want to make sure everything is in the right order. We also managed to get a pilot from France ... We think this is quite a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the public."

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