Government exploring ways for inter-agency use of drones

The Government is testing ways in which drones can be used by different government agencies to enhance service delivery.
The Government is testing ways in which drones can be used by different government agencies to enhance service delivery.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Government is testing ways which unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, can be used, and to facilitate easier coordination between agencies for drone usage.

More than 25 potential uses of such drones are being explored by various public agencies such as the National Environment Agency (NEA), Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

It is facilitated by the inter-agency UAS Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Transport.

For instance, the NEA is conducting tests on how drones can be used to survey roof gutters, which can be potential mosquito breeding grounds. These gutters are often located on higher levels which are difficult for inspectors to access.

They can also use drones to dispense larvicide to kill off potential mosquito larvae at these roof gutters.

Drones have also been tested to carry out inspection of construction sites. Because these sites are subject to inspection by at least seven public agencies, such as  BCA, MOM and water agency PUB, downtime can be quite frequent if each agency does its own inspection.

To combat this, the UAS Committee has launched a collaborative online platform that allows footage captured by one drone to be shared among various agencies, hence reducing repetition.

The committee will also be launching a tender at the end of February for bulk drone suppliers to provide drones and technical expertise to agencies which may want to use drones for their operations.