Set up inter-ministry committee to study drone use

Both these articles (Indonesian rescuers use drones, sniffer dogs as tsunami death toll rises to 400, Dec 25; and Gatwick Airport chaos exposes how much havoc drones can create, Dec 21; both The Straits Times Online) centre on drones.

In the case of the tsunami tragedy, drones were used to save lives, while in the case of Gatwick Airport, drones caused immeasurable inconvenience to air travellers.

I feel that the Land Transport Authority, the Home Team, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force must come together to study the licensing, structure, identification and proper flight path of drones.

Drones have already evolved from being in the hobbyists' realm to transforming delivery and surveillance tasks. They are also a crucial complement to driverless automation and even in emergency situations to help the SCDF plan efficient manpower and logistical solutions.

I hope the Government can set up an inter-ministry drone-empowerment committee to move Singapore into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Colin Ong Tau Shien

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2018, with the headline 'Set up inter-ministry committee to study drone use'. Print Edition | Subscribe