Address noise, privacy issues arising from flying of drones

In recent years, drone racing has become increasingly popular in Singapore (Hopes on drone-racing body to boost sport; Jan 3, 2017).

This has led to more individuals practising with drones in open fields and carparks. A number of these are in residential areas, where enthusiasts can be seen racing their drones next to high-rise buildings.

Drones flying at high speeds generate significant levels of noise pollution, especially for people living on higher floors where the sound is amplified.

According to a preliminary study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, people find the noise of drones more irritating than that of ground vehicles, even at the same volume.

Furthermore, these drones pose a risk to residents' privacy, given that they are able to fly up to 20 storeys high and have cameras installed on them, allowing for a first-person view into people's homes.

Why are individuals allowed to fly their drones in residential areas with no limits to their speed or altitude?

More should be done to protect residents from the noise pollution and privacy intrusion arising from drones.

Terence Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2018, with the headline 'Address noise, privacy issues arising from flying of drones'. Print Edition | Subscribe