ST Engineering to test drones at Lower Seletar Reservoir

More sophisticated drone operations may soon be carried out in Singapore, with ST Engineering receiving approval to test drones that can be used for perimeter security screening and lightweight deliveries.

The firm announced yesterday that the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has approved its application to conduct trials over the Lower Seletar Reservoir; they involve flights beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) of its operator.

In a call for proposal two years ago, the Ministry of Transport and CAAS said the use of BVLOS could enhance overall productivity and benefit search and rescue efforts, as well as building and structural inspections.

ST Engineering, the first firm here to receive approval, will test its DroNet technology, which uses unmanned devices such as drones to carry out specific tasks.

CAAS director-general Kevin Shum said the ST Engineering team underwent stringent safety evaluations to make the trial possible.

He added that this opens up the possibility of more sophisticated drone operations here.

Mr Lim Serh Ghee, president of ST Engineering's aerospace sector, said: "This will help pave the way for drone applications to be conducted more effectively... thereby unlocking higher potential in drone operations for users."

PUB's chief information officer Michael Toh said the water agency is also working towards a smart water management system with the use of new technologies.


"Remote-sensing technologies on unmanned vehicles such as drones have the potential to provide real-time monitoring of our assets and infrastructure," he added.

Last year, ST Engineering signed an agreement with CAAS to facilitate the development of BVLOS operations in Singapore.

Under the agreement, ST Engineering will help CAAS enhance regulatory requirements for such operations.

ST Engineering's trial on the use of drones for potentially dangerous jobs was also one of the first five projects identified for the one-north business district, designated last February as Singapore's first "drone estate".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2019, with the headline 'ST Engineering to test drones at Lower Seletar Reservoir'. Print Edition | Subscribe