🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules around recreational, research & commercial drone use in Singapore. Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Singapore
Singapore differentiates commercial and recreational drone usage - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. Both are subject to restrictions and code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone and where you intend to fly, different rules will apply.
✅ Good to know; Singapore also distinguishes research purpose flights which must follow the same legislation as for recreational flights an include flights for:
any lecture, tutorial, seminar, demonstration, class or similar activity provided by an educational institution referred to in the Private Education Act of Singapore: or
any research & development activity carried on by an educational institution in the same Private Education Act with the object of acquiring knowledge that may be of use for the purpose of devising or developing a new substantially improved product that is an unmanned aircraft.
Can I bring my drone to Singapore?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Singapore as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person). When landing at the airport, you might have to register & declare your drone to customs prior exiting the building (happened to us). They just want to know about it & won't keep it 🛬
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in Singapore?
✅ See below a map drafted by the CAAS, you can find it here anytime. This map is valid for all types of unmanned vehicle flights and will basically tell you if you need a permit or not - but see more in details below based on your flight purposes.
Singapore Drone Fly Map
Be aware that according to this map, you should avoid flying without permission to fly near or above:
The majority of the National Parks
Jurong, Pulau Ubin & Pulau Tekong islands
HDB Blocks (Tallest Public housing in Singapore)
MRT Train stations and tracks
Around the country's land borders
Orchard Road 1km radius (Shopping area)
Sentosa Island (restricted private property)
Recreational & Research Drone use in Singapore
You do not need a license or a permit for recreational or research use if your drone is less than 7 kg and you follow the below rules to fly:
at a maximum altitude of 60 m above the ground.
away from people or large crowds/open air events & respect individuals' privacy.
at least 5 km away from airports.
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
fly within day light & within your sight at all times.
it is advised to subscribe to an insurance covering all risks.
do not drop anything from your drone, carry dangerous materials such as weapons or bio-chemical or radioactive material "legit"
do not fly your drone in sensitive areas including but not limited to government or military facilities, Changi Airport, Istana, the Parliament house or the Supreme court.
do not fly over driving vehicles to not distract drivers.
🚨 If your drone weights more than 7 kg or if you desire to fly within restricted areas or above 60 m for e.g, you will additionally need a class 2 permit here and pay a SG$60 process fee (SG$20 if repeated activity declared).
Commercial Drone use in Singapore
When flying a drone for commercial use (legally called an Unmanned Air Vehicle or UAV) in Singapore, an operator & an activity permit are required as explained here.
Additionally, you must:
respect all the drone recreational use's code of conduct (listed above).
you will need to apply for an operator permit and pay SG$600 if its your first time (SG$200 if its a renewal) and SG$400 per extra drone.
you will need to apply for an activity (class 1) permit and pay SG$75 if its your first time (SG$25 if its a repeated activity).
✅ Singapore is resolutely decided to be at the forefront of drone industry and is already a real hub in this industry. See below cool experiments happening in the city island today!
How to pay your drone permit & fees in Singapore?
Once you've applied for the correct permit, you can pay either:
in cash by going to the office directly: Airworthiness and Flight Operations Division, 4th Storey North Finger Pier, Unit No. 029-047, Changi Airport Terminal 2, 819643, Singapore.
via cheque made payable to the CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE and crossed "ACCOUNT PAYEE ONLY". You will need to indicate the UAS Permit application reference number and the types of permit applying for e.g. Operator and Activity(Class 1) Permits, Operator Permit only, Activity(Class 2) Repeat Permit only etc. on the back of the cheque.
via bank transfer to: DBS Bank LtdBank, Code7171, Branch Code 003, Account No0039186673, Account NameCivil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Swift Code DBSSSGSGAddress of Bank12 Marina Boulevard, DBS Asia Central, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, Singapore 018982
🕔 Process time is estimated to about 2 weeks.
📰 The CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) is considering an evolution of Singapore's drone laws.
“While we are keen to support the fast-growing UA industry, this always needs to be balanced against the need to maintain high levels of aviation and public safety.”
The Singapore drone law enhancement could include:
introduce an online training program which will be compulsory for those flying unmanned aircraft weighing 1.5kg or more; as well as a pilot licensing scheme to ensure that users have a minimum competency level which comes closer to Canadian standards.
introduce a training organisation framework to support the proposed pilot licensing.
implement more safety guidelines for drones weighing more than 25kg.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Singapore's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one.
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Singapore! Have fun and safe flight!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.
CAAS: Contact Form
CAAS: Phone Number: +65 6542-1122