Residents to be consulted as new advisory panel reviews laws for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems

There is currently a ban in Singapore on flying drones within 5km of airports or military airbases, or at altitudes above 200 feet (about 60m), without a permit.
There is currently a ban in Singapore on flying drones within 5km of airports or military airbases, or at altitudes above 200 feet (about 60m), without a permit.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will reach out to different groups including residents as it reviews regulations here surrounding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which include drones.

In a release on Thursday (May 23), the CAAS said it has set up an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Advisory Panel. The panel, comprising 12 members, is expected to provide its recommendations by early next year.

The move follows an announcement in January by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min who said in Parliament that CAAS plans to develop a system to monitor unmanned aircraft.

This, he added, will allow the CAAS to check if individual drones are operating under a valid permit, and issue alerts to pilots who fall foul of regulations.

There is currently a ban in Singapore on flying drones within 5km of airports or military airbases, or at altitudes above 200 feet (about 60m), without a permit.

Those found guilty face a fine of up to $20,000 or up to 12 months in jail, or both.

In its statement on Thursday, the CAAS said that as part of its engagement, the panel will reach out to seek views and feedback from users, residents and other stakeholder groups before making its recommendations.

 
 

This panel will be chaired by veteran Republic of Singapore Air Force pilot Timothy De Souza, who is also a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights.

The other members represent UAS stakeholders including representatives from the industry, interest groups, training organisations, academia, government agencies, and grassroots organisations.

It was reported earlier this year that Singapore's drone regulations were being beefed up.

This includes a compulsory online training programme, a pilot licensing scheme, as well as stricter requirements such as partial or full certification for heavier unmanned aircraft of more than 25kg, which presents a greater safety risk.