CAAS launches online portal for drone permit applications in S'pore

CAAS launches online portal for drone permit applications in S'pore

SINGAPORE - Operators of unmanned aircraft, or drones, can now apply for necessary permits in an online portal launched on the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) website.

This comes after Parliament approved the Unmanned Aircraft (Public Safety and Security) Bill in May. The bill introduced new laws that regulate the use of drones from Jun 2015.

According to CAAS, two different types of permits (operator and activity) are required for flying drones that weigh more than 7kg. Those who fly drones for business purposes will need both permits regardless of the weight of the aircraft.

In contrast, drones for recreational purposes do not need a permit to fly, provided that the aircraft does not weigh more than 7kg. However, a permit is required if the drone is flying in a restricted area or within 5km of a military airbase.

The CAAS also said that if the drone is flown indoors at a private residence or indoor area used for the purpose of constructing or testing unmanned aircraft and accessible only to the persons involved, and the flying does not affect the general public, no permits are required.

Additional permits are needed if operators plan to drop items from drones, if the drone's radio frequencies and powers limits are not within the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's guidelines or if drones are being flown over security-sensitive areas such as the Istana, Parliament House and military camps and bases.

Photographs of protected areas taken by drones are also not allowed without an additional permit.

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