Singapore reviews rules on drone use

The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore are reviewing regulations to provide clearer guidelines for drone operations here, with an eye on minimising restrictions.

Currently, drone users must apply for at least one of three permits before flying them, which can take at least two weeks, reported The Straits Times.

For safety reasons, the law currently stipulates that a model aircraft cannot be flown within 5km of an aerodrome - such as an airport or airbase - unless the operator has a permit.

A permit is also required for flying drones higher than 61m above mean sea level when they are 5km or farther from an aerodrome.

Drone operators also need an aerial photography licence - even if they do not plan to use cameras attached to the machines.

While there are no specific laws on drones invading people's personal spaces, there are rules that drone use may fall under when it comes to privacy.

For instance, permission would be needed if a drone is used to take photos or videos for commercial use in a private place.

If a drone takes photos of a woman in a state of undress, this could be deemed an insult to her modesty and punishable by law.

Trespassing and harassment laws may also apply to drone use.

Drone enthusiasts in general agree that the issue is about striking a balance between safety, privacy and public opinion.

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