Latest Drone Laws in Singapore

Singapore’s many famous beaches and islands make it an ideal location for shooting amazing aerial videos and photos. Hence, it’s necessary to know the latest drone laws in Singapore for safe and responsible drone flights. 

Singapore’s drone regulations are comprehensive and clear. They apply to recreational, commercial, and educational drone fliers. 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) provides a structured understanding of the rules, outlining the unmanned aircraft flying areas. The laws also list the no-flight zones, ensuring you are well-prepared for your drone flights in the country.

Our article provides in-depth coverage of Singapore’s drone flight guidelines. Whether you’re flying your device for fun or work, here is all you need to know!

Let’s dive in.

Which Are the Latest Drone Laws in Singapore?

The latest regulations that govern drone flying in Singapore apply to Singaporeans, non-residents, and permanent residents. 

Whether a recreational, commercial, or educational pilot, you must know and comply with the following drone laws.

  • Indoor drone flying laws
  • Outdoor drone flying laws

Read on.

Indoor Drone Flying Laws

When flying your drone indoors in Singapore, comply with the following regulations:

Registration Requirements

Register your drone if its total weight is more than 250g. The registration comprises two major steps: purchasing a $25 registration label and completing the online registration via the Unmanned Aircraft (UA) Portal.

To register a drone, you must be 16 or older.

Operating an unregistered device is illegal and can attract certain penalties.

Pilot Requirements

Obtain a UA Basic Training Certificate or a UA Pilot Licence if:

  • Your drone’s total weight is more than 1.5kg but equal to or less than 7kg.
  • You’re flying your device in public or at an event with more than 50 people.

Acquire a UA Pilot Licence (UAPL) if:

  • Your drone weighs more than 7kg.
  • You’re flying it in a publicly accessible place or an event with more than 50 attendees.  
Permit Requirements

If your drone flight is for an event with more than 50 attendees, you must get an Operator Permit and a Class 1 Activity Permit.

Outdoor Drone Flying Laws

When flying your drone outdoors in Singapore, you must comply with the following regulations:

Registration Requirements

Register your device if its weight is above 250g. The process is similar to the indoor scenario: obtain a $25 registration label and complete the online registration via the UA Portal.

You must be 16 years old or older to register a drone. If you’re below 16, you can register with an eligible person—a legal guardian or parent—with their consent to use a drone.

Further, you’re accountable for any activity your device performs. 

No replacement of a damaged or lost registration label. You’ll have to purchase a new one. 

Pilot Requirements

If your drone’s total weight is above 1.5kg but equal to or less than 7kg, acquire a UA Basic Training Certificate or a UA Pilot License. 

You must have a UA Pilot License if the weight is over 7kg.

Permit Requirements

Obtain a class 2 Activity Permit if your drone weighs below 25kg. However, that only applies if you fly the gadget:

  • 200 feet above the mean sea level.
  • Within dangerous or restricted zones.
  • Within 5km of a military airbase or airport.

Get a Class 1 Activity Permit and an Operator Permit if:

  • Your drone weighs more than 25kg, despite the flight height and location.
  • Despite the drone’s weight, you’re flying your drone beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS). 

If your target flight areas are the protected zones, you must obtain a permit from the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Otherwise, you shouldn’t conduct any drone activity in these areas.

Additional Drone Laws in Singapore that Apply to Commercial Fliers Only

Besides the above laws that cut across the three categories of drone fliers, here are some that apply to the commercial lot:

  • Pilot Requirements (Indoor Flights): You must obtain a UA Pilot Licence if you’re flying a drone to record a sporting activity, such as a tournament or competitive race. 

  • Permit requirements (Indoor flights): A Class 1 Activity Permit and an Operator Permit are necessary if your drone activity involves shooting a sporting activity of an organized group task or an arranged tournament, race, or competition.

What Are the Requirements for Singapore UA Pilot Licence (UAPL)?

The requirements for UAPL in Singapore include the following:

  • A pass in an Authorised Flight Examiner-conducted practical assessment. That should be within a UA training and assessment organization (UATO).

  • Be at age 16 or above when applying for the license.

  • A pass in a CAAS-administered theory test.

It’s advisable to acquire the relevant theoretical knowledge and practical experience —by completing a training program — from a CAAS-approved UATO before undertaking the theory test and practical assessment.

General Drone Laws in Singapore

Below are the general requirements that every drone operator must meet in Singapore:

  • Avoid interfering with emergency service providers and vehicles during flights. That may distract the drivers.

  • You must have a permit to fly a drone weighing more than 7kg or above 60m (200 feet).

  • Don’t fly your drone over crowds, groups of people, or public events.

  • Never operate your drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Land your drone at once if a manned aircraft appears in the vicinity.

  • Always fly your drone in favorable weather with proper visibility.

  • Don’t discharge a substance or drop an item from your drone.

  • You must keep a visual line of sight throughout your flights.

  • Fly your drone at least 5km (3.1 miles) from an airport.

  • Don’t carry unsafe substances on your drone.

  • Always fly your drone during daylight hours. 

  • Avoid flying your drone near a road. 

More Notes for Foreign Drone Operators

Here are additional rules for foreign drone operators in Singapore:

  • You can only order one label.

  • Obtaining the registration label online is viable, but shipping it to international addresses isn’t.

  • You must apply for a UAPass account online at the UA Portal, which takes approximately five working days. Hence, applying for the account before visiting the country is advisable.

  • Over-the-counter purchase of registration labels is available at designated SingPost outlets. You must have the following:
  • The UA Registration Label Purchase Form’s completed hard copy.

  • Your original Passport and its photocopy.

Online purchase is also available within Singapore, and you must have a local address for delivery purposes.

After attaching the registration label to your drone, log in to the UA Portal using your UAPass account and complete the registration.

When Should I De-Register My Drone in Singapore?

You should de-register your drone via the UA Portal if any of the following situations occurs:

  • Information on the drone’s label becomes illegal or gets damaged.

  • Intention to transfer the drone’s ownership via giving or selling.

  • Damage occurs on your drone past repair.

If the registration label is damaged, you can purchase a new label and register the drone again after de-registering it.

Note: You can’t transfer the registration label. The drone’s new owner must get another label and register the drone online. You must also remove and destroy the previous label after de-registering the device.

Operating an unregistered drone with a total weight of more than 250g is illegal in Singapore.

Non-compliance could attract imprisonment of up to 6 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

The UA’s drone registration has no expiry duration. You only register once, and termination is done through de-registration.

Here is how to de-register your drone:

  • Log in to the UA Portal using your drone registration account.
  • Click on the ‘Manage/De-register My UA’ tab.
  • Select the drone you intend to de-register. 

Where Can I Fly a Drone in Singapore?

Drone flying is legal in all parts of Singapore except the no-fly zones. You can identify the restricted areas from the OneMap app. 

However, you can legally fly your drone within the no-fly areas after obtaining a Class 2 activity permit.

You must also maintain a visual line of sight throughout your flights and a maximum altitude of 200 feet (60 meters).

Recreational Drone Flying Areas in Singapore

The Pandan Reservoir’s UAFA (United Aerial Firefighters Association) provides a community area for UA enthusiasts to gather and interact. It facilitates and supports responsible and safe recreational drone operations.

Pandan Reservoir has a 16-hectare UA flying area over the reservoir waters and the necessary light amenities for drone activities.

The amenities include benches and tables, offering a clean and comfortable flying environment.

The latest drone laws in Singapore also apply to UAFA. You can fly your recreation drone outside UAFA, but keep off no-fly zones. 

The space is fee-free and accessible to the general public. Clear signage displays the prevailing UA regulations and guidelines about on-site operations.

What Are the UAFA Guidelines?

Follow the guidelines below to operate safely and responsibly within UAFA:

  • Don’t fly during stormy weather. Check the weather forecast information before your flights.

  • You’re responsible for your operations. UAFA doesn’t provide drone retrieval services.

  • Don’t fly beyond the UA flying area boundaries marked by flags and water buoys.

  • UAFA restricts aeroplane UA and fuel-based UA operations.

  • Be considerate to others as the area is commonly shared.

  • Register your drone if its total weight is more than 250g.

  • Avoid flying over footpaths, roads, and people.

  • Operational hours are 9 am – 6 pm.

Which Are the No-Fly Zones in Singapore?

The no-fly zones in Singapore include: 

  • Protected areas: Parks and nature reserves for protecting the environment and wildlife.

  • Security-sensitive locations: Near government buildings and military installations.

  • Aerodromes’ vicinity: 5km from air bases and airports.

  • Dangerous sites.

Use the OneMap app or consult the CAAS website to avoid operating your drone in prohibited areas. Ignorance doesn’t justify violation and can attract penalties.

Conclusion

The latest drone laws in Singapore are straightforward. They focus on drone registration, pilot, and permit requirements to help you safely and responsibly fly your device.

Whether you’re a recreational, educational, or commercial drone operator, you must register all drones weighing more than 250g. Non-compliance can lead to specific penalties.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of and avoid no-fly zones unless you have a Class 2 activity permit. 

Foreigners are also welcome to fly drones in Singapore, provided they adhere to the governing rules. If you have questions or need clarification before your trip, please contact CAAS directly.

Here are the contact details:

  • Email: saa@caas.gov.sg  
  • Phone: +65 6542-1122

FAQs

Yes. You must register your drone with more than 250g in Singapore, even with an operator permit.

A permit is different from a drone registration. It’s a CAAS authorization, allowing you to operate your drone for a specific purpose.

You should affix the registration label to the drone’s visible outer service of a non-detachable part.

The top surface of the main body is ideal. Avoid sticking the label on removable batteries, propellers, or propeller guards.

Yes. You can allow your friend to fly your registered drone in Singapore. However, you’re responsible for any violation of the laws.

Hence, you should ensure the operator can fly the drone safely and responsibly.

No. You can’t transfer your drone’s registration label ownership at any time.

Instead, you should de-register your drone and remove the label. The new operator must purchase another registration label and register the drone.

Yes. You can buy a maximum of five registration labels if you’re a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident.

Non-Singaporeans and non-permanent residents are only eligible for one registration label.

However, you can write to CAAS via ua_registration@caas.gov.sg to purchase more.

Author
Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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