PUBLISHED: JAN 25, 2021

Flying drones safely in densely populated Singapore


Drone enthusiasts will soon be able to fly unmanned aircraft at designated public areas in Singapore. The Ministry of Transport accepted a panel’s proposal to set up such areas.


The panel’s report cited examples in other places such as the Hangang Drone Park in Seoul. It’s a 27,000 sq m field that’s designated for drone flying.


Setting up such spaces will let drone users “foster a culture of safety among the community”, the panel said. This is needed as some get into trouble with the law by flying drones here.


20 drone operators were arrested in a span of just three months last year for illegally flying their drones within 5km of Changi Airport. This is out of 44 cases reported before end November 2020 for that year, compared to just eight before July 2019.


In an incident in June 2019, unauthorised drones delayed 37 flights and affected operations for 10 hours at Changi Airport.


The panel also said the designated areas will give new users the assurance they’re allowed to fly their drones at these sites.

Currently, they have to check the OneMap app or portal to ensure they’re flying drones outside no-fly zones and within permitted flying areas. Permits and registrations are required under certain conditions.


From February 2021, all adults flying drones above 1.5kg in weight will have to go through training and pass an exam to get licensed, or face hefty penalties such jail time.

Drone zones
Drone zones

SOURCE: ST REPORTS BY CLEMENT YONG AND LIM MIN ZHANG; ST VIDEOS BY BENJAMIN SEETOR AND MARK CHEONG; ST PHOTO BY MARK CHEONG; VIDEOS BY YOUNG360/YOUTUBE AND AZLINA10/YOUTUBE; GOOGLE EARTH AND ONEMAP.SG

PRODUCED BY: DENISE CHONG

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