CAAS facilitates permit applications for unmanned aircraft operations


SINGAPORE – A one-stop online application portal has been established by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to process permits for those who are interested in operating an unmanned aircraft in Singapore.

From June 2, members of the public can visit CAAS website to check and apply for the necessary permits from CAAS, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and/or the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), before they operate an unmanned aircraft.

With this Act and the amendments to the Air Navigation Order (ANO), an enhanced regulatory and permit framework for unmanned aircraft operations in Singapore has been put in place.

An Operator Permit and/or Activity Permit will be required under the following circumstances:

Purpose: For any purpose

Weight of Unmanned Aircraft: More than 7kg in total weight

Permit required: Operator and Activity Permits

Purpose: For any business purpose including if not Recreation or Research in nature

Weight of Unmanned Aircraft: Any weight

Permit required: Operator and Activity Permits

Purpose: For Recreation or Research

Weight of Unmanned Aircraft: Not more than 7kg

Permit required: None

However, only an Activity Permit is required if the unmanned aircraft is flown outdoors, such as in a restricted or danger area or within 5km of an aerodrome/military airbase regardless of operating height, or above 200 feet beyond 5km of an aerodrome/military airbase.

An Operator Permit is granted by CAAS to an applicant if the applicant is able to ensure safe operation of unmanned aircraft, taking into account the applicant’s organisational set-up, competency of the personnel especially those flying the unmanned aircraft, procedures to manage safety including the conduct of safety risk assessments, and the airworthiness of each of the aircraft.

The permit is valid for up to one year.

An Activity Permit is granted by CAAS to an applicant for a single activity or a block of repeated activities to be carried out by an unmanned aircraft at a specific area of operation, and which are of specific operational profiles and conditions.

Additional permits will be required if:

– There is discharging or dropping of substances/items from the unmanned aircraft.

– The radio frequencies and power limits used for operating the unmanned aircraft do not comply with IDA’s guidelines on radio frequencies and power limits for short range devices.

– The unmanned aircraft is flown over Protected Areas like security-sensitive locations gazetted as such and their immediate vicinity. Examples of such locations are the Istana, Parliament House, Supreme Court, Jurong Island, and military camps and bases.

– The specific locations of these Protected Areas, as and when they are declared by the Minister for Transport, will be published in the Government Gazette ( and updated on the OneMap portal ( Members of the public are reminded to check the websites to see if their chosen location for flying unmanned aircraft requires additional permits

– The unmanned aircraft is flown in Special Event Areas as declared by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the POA.

CAAS will handle the application of all permits for unmanned aircraft operations.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application well in advance of the date of their unmanned aircraft activity.

The expected processing time for an application is two weeks, although straightforward cases or applications for Activity Permits by Operator Permit holders may take a shorter time.

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