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What I do as a SATS Auxiliary Police Officer

What I do as a SATS Auxiliary Police Officer

Have you ever seen airport officers in light blue uniforms, at times wearing a neon green vest? They are SATS Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs).

SATS Auxiliary Police Force plays a key role in maintaining public safety.

While most APOs are posted at Changi Airport and tasked to keep passengers and the airport safe, there’s more to their role than meets the eye.

SGT (APF) Loh Yuet Seng Alfred tells us all about the different duties performed by a SATS APO.

SATS Auxiliary Police Officer - Alfred

SGT (APF) Alfred Loh, SATS Auxiliary Police

SATS APO Duty #1: Checking aircraft safety

Mention SATS to someone and they will immediately relate it to the airport. Most people know that SATS is a food and gateway service provider. But only a few are aware that SATS also has a team of security officers and APOs.

See also: My job as a security officer at SATS

During their career at SATS, APOs may be assigned to apron operations. This duty requires them to be at the apron or the area where the plane is parked for ground handling.

Aircraft for Ground Servicing - Changi Airport

Aircraft for ground servicing at the ramp or apron

A team of four to five APOs must be at the bay before the ramp services team begins unloading and loading cargo. APOs handle the final security checks before passengers can board the plane. On some days, they may be assigned to patrol for any unattended aircraft.

Alfred finds this part of the job most interesting. “I get to work at the airside and encounter different things every day,” he enthuses.

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SATS APO Duty #2: Responding to emergencies 

In a single day, thousands of different kinds of passengers visit the airport. In instances where some passengers need to be taken off a flight or be questioned, SATS APOs are called.

They do the necessary to calm down an agitated passenger and prevent any chaos in the airport or onboard the plane. “The key is to communicate with them logically,” reveals Alfred.

APOs are trained for such scenarios during their three-month paid training at SATS Academy, but experience is always the best teacher. Every passenger has a different attitude and concern, making each incident a learning opportunity for APOs.

SATS APO Duty #3: Helping passengers in need

APOs not only ensure your safety but also extend whatever help is needed so passengers can have a comfortable journey.

“It’s the most fulfilling part of our job as APOs,” Alfred admits. It can be a thankless job where passengers pass them by without even a glance or a quick nod, so it means a lot to Alfred when passengers express gratitude for their help.

Whether it’s helping a passenger find their lost luggage or directing them to the right desk or gate, SATS APOs are ready to go the extra mile to ensure passengers have a smooth and hassle-free experience at the airport.

See also: I’m a female auxiliary police officer and I’m proud of it

Better to know more than less

SATS APO at the apron

SATS Auxiliary Police Officer in action

SATS APOs may be deployed to different assignments. This proves that the job is never boring. It allows APOs to get a bit of knowledge about everything, which can especially help those just starting a career in security.

“It’s like getting a surprise every time,” Alfred sums up.

Of course, it’s not a job for everyone, he is quick to add. Being in the industry comes with the requirement to work longer hours. “Just imagine what would happen if we didn’t have people on different shifts. So APOs must understand that it’s the same in this industry,” Alfred explains.

Despite this, he looks forward to going to work at the airport each day. He is excited about meeting his friends at work, doing their duties together, and even planning travels together.

So, if you ask Alfred, he’ll tell you that the job of an APO at SATS is best captured in three words: challenging yet fulfilling.

“It’s all about the attitude,” says Alfred. He likens it to a double-edged sword. You can focus more on the fulfilling side rather than the challenging side.

His advice? Squeeze in a few minutes each day to work out.


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