July 17, 2022

No permit needed to fly unmanned aircraft in designated area at Pandan Reservoir

By brit

SINGAPORE – For the first time, unmanned aircraft enthusiasts will be able to fly their drones without having to apply for an activity permit at Singapore’s first and only designated flying area at Pandan Reservoir.

The 16ha dedicated flying area aims to accommodate hobbyists’ needs while ensuring public and aviation safety, even as more people pick up recreational flying in recent years, said Transport Minister S. Iswaran at the launch event on Sunday (July 17).

“There’s a very strong uptick in the activity level in the unmanned aircraft community in Singapore and we see recreational use rising significantly,” said Mr Iswaran, noting that the number of registered unmanned aircraft in Singapore has increased fourfold.

“A flying area that is aviation-safe and safe for the public is an important consideration for us, especially in a place like Singapore, where our living environment is quite dense. We want to be able to accommodate a diversity of activities but also want to make sure they’re done in a safe manner,” he said.

Examples of unmanned aircraft include drones, radio-controlled aircraft and remote-controlled kites.

The boundary of the flying area over the Pandan Reservoir waters is marked with yellow buoys and is at least 400m away from the nearest housing blocks for privacy reasons.

Users have to take off and land their unmanned aircraft within a grassy area demarcated by yellow standing flags.

Basic amenities such as tables and benches are provided for people to set up their aircraft in a semi-shaded area.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), which launched the flying area, said previously, those who wanted to set up their unmanned aircraft had to do so on the grass patch, which is difficult to do, especially when the ground is wet.

Regular programmes and community workshops to educate unmanned aircraft enthusiasts on safe and responsible flying will held at the area, said CAAS.

Any unmanned aircraft with a total weight above 250g must be registered with CAAS before users are allowed to operate it.

The flying area came as a key recommendation by the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Advisory Panel set up in 2019, with the aim of reviewing and enhancing Singapore’s unmanned aircraft systems regulatory framework.

The operating hours for the flying area at Pandan Reservoir are from 9am to 6pm daily.

Members of the public can join the Pandan Reservoir unmanned aircraft flying area community chat on Telegram, UA Flying Areas, to receive regular updates and important notices about the site.