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Fly a Drone In Singapore: Your Ultimate Guide to Drone Regulations in Singapore (Updated 2024)

Updated: Apr 2

Ultimate Guide to Drone Regulations in Singapore

The most picturesque landscapes of Singapore from the bird’s-eye view attract a lot of tourists. The remarkable complexity of the city, being captured by aerial photography, provides unique possibilities to strike a balance between impressive architecture and plenty of green space. However, it is important that one must be acquainted with the Singapore drone laws to avoid any breach of regulations and make their photography experience less intrusive.

Singapore puts at a premium the well-being and serenity of the shrines of its community. Therefore, drone operators may need to abide by various critical rules and regulations. This is the way to keep the city's harmony, peace and safe for all.

This guide intends to give you a concise yet complete picture of the drone rules in Singapore. We will go over the basics like getting permissions from designated no-fly areas. Whether you operate your drone for recreational or professional purposes, our priority is to make sure you encounter these regulations smoothly and, therefore, your drone flying experience remains legal and pleasing.

So, Can You Fly Drones in Singapore?

Absolutely! But it's all about playing by the rules set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to ensure your drone flying is on the level, safe, and doesn't throw a wrench in the bustling life below.

Key Rules for Flying a Drone in Singapore

When you are attempting to fly a drone around in Singapore, knowing the rules and regulations is almost as important as the precision you would need to operate the drone itself. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has made several technical controls to maintain a harmonious environment and not interfere with the city surroundings. Here's how you can make sure that you will be flying your drone within the boundaries as well as for your pleasure.

1. Drone Registration

Understanding the importance of drone registration in Singapore is the first step in ensuring you're ready for takeoff. The CAAS mandates registration to keep the skies safe and organized, ensuring every drone in the air is accounted for. Here's what you need to know, whether you're flying for fun or work.

Recreational and Educational

For those whose drones are destined for educational or recreational flights and weigh no more than 7kg (about 15 pounds), the process is somewhat streamlined. Although the permit requirements might be lighter for drones under this weight threshold, don't be fooled into thinking you can fly anywhere or however you like. The skies have rules, and they're pretty tight.

Note: It's crucial to understand that both unmanned aircraft (UA) lighter than 7KG but heavier than 249G need to be properly labelled and registered on the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) UA portal. This regulation ensures that all drones, regardless of their purpose, are traceable and flown responsibly.

Commercial Drone Operating Rules

For entrepreneurs and businesses aiming to elevate their operations, literally, with drones, the regulatory landscape is a bit more complex. If you're looking to operate a drone for commercial reasons, you'll need to secure an Operator Permit and possibly a Class 1 or Class 2 Activity Permit, depending on what you plan to do in the air.

Moreover, commercial drone operators must obtain a UA Pilot Licence (UAPL) from CAAS, a badge of honour that comes after acing both theory and practical assessments. This rigorous process ensures commercial pilots are well-versed in the nuances of drone operation, including how to navigate the nooks and crannies of restricted areas safely.

Remember, if your drone is serving your business in any capacity, it must be registered, wear its registration label proudly, and comply with the comprehensive guidelines established by CAAS for commercial drone operations. For commercial operators seeking guidance or professional assistance, we are here to help you navigate these aerial highways with expertise.

2. UA Basic Training

Wondering if you need UA Basic Training? If you're stepping into the drone flying scene in Singapore, this training is your ABCs. It's designed to equip drone pilots with foundational knowledge and skills for safe and responsible flying. Whether you're a hobbyist or a commercial pilot, getting this training under your belt (or rather, your controller) is a smart move. To embark on this educational journey, you'll need to check in with CAAS or accredited training providers who can set you on the right flight path.

3. Permit Requirements for Flying a Drone

Understanding when and how to secure the right permits for your drone activities is crucial. Let's break it down:

2 Types of Activity Permits: AP1 and AP2

  • AP1 is for Commercial Use: If you're flying with a business mindset, aiming to capture breathtaking aerial shots for a client or inspect infrastructure, AP1 is your ticket.

  • AP2 is for Recreational Use: For non-commercial flights in sensitive areas (No Fly Zone or NFZ) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)/police gazette. For instance, a visiting couple wanting to capture memories over Sentosa (NFZ) would need to apply for AP2. The beauty here is that the rigorous UA Pilot Licence (UAPL) isn't a prerequisite for recreational use in such scenarios.

How Do I Know Which Permit to Apply For?

If you're flying solely for personal enjoyment, with no financial compensation or service provision involved, AP2 is your go-to. However, the moment your drone flight crosses into the realm of providing a service (yes, even if it's pro bono), you're looking at needing an AP1 permit.

4. No-Flight Zones and Restricted Areas

Singapore's airspace is carefully monitored to prevent interference with manned aircraft and to protect sensitive locations.

Strict no-flight zones have been designated to prevent interference with commercial air traffic and ensure national security. These include drone laws in Singapore:

  • Vicinity of Airports - A crucial no-fly zone for drone pilots.: Drones are prohibited within 5 kilometers of airports and air bases.

  • Security Sensitive Locations - Areas near military installations, government buildings, and other sensitive sites are off-limits.

  • Protected Nature Areas - Drone laws often restrict flying in these zones without a specific permit. Specific regulations apply to flying drones in nature reserves and parks to protect wildlife and the environment.

Operators must consult the CAAS website or use the OneMap app to identify no-fly zones and ensure they're flying in permitted areas. Ignorance of these restricted areas is not a valid excuse and can result in penalties.

Additional Notes for Foreign Operators

Foreign drone operators planning to fly in Singapore need to apply for a UAPass account through the online UA Portal before their visit. The registration label, essential for drone operation, costs $15 and can be purchased at designated SingPost outlets or online, though it requires a local delivery address.

Key Takeaways for Drone Operators

  • Drones weighing 250 grams to 7 kilograms may fly for recreational purposes without a permit, but UA Label registration is necessary.

  • For commercial use, an Operator Permit, Activity Permit, and a UA Pilot Licence are required, alongside insurance and registration, regardless of the drone's weight.

  • All drone operators must follow Singapore’s rules for flying, including adhering to no-flight zones and maintaining a visual line of sight with their drones.

  • Educational and commercial operators need to ensure that their drones are operated within legal guidelines and that they have obtained the necessary permits and registrations from CAAS.

Elevating Your Aerial Filming Experience in Singapore with Expert Guidance

This guide stresses knowing drone regulations in Singapore for safe operations. It's crucial to follow no-fly zones, height limits, and permits. This ensures safety for operators, the public, and airspace integrity.

For capturing the city's beauty from above, consider professional aerial services. We, at WetheFlyers, simplify the process and ensure top-notch content. We're your knowledgeable and reliable partner for aerial filming. Our expertise in local laws makes us the premier choice.

Let us bring your visions to life effortlessly. Contact us today for compliant and high-quality aerial projects. Elevate your work with confidence and precision.

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