Singapore Drone

Of all the countries listed in the region, Singapore has the most extensive drone regulations. On June 4th the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore launched an online portal for drone operators to apply for permits to fly drones. According to the CAAS website, “two permits—an operator permit and an activity permit—are required for flying drones that weigh more than 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds) for any purpose. Those who fly drones for business purposes will need both permits regardless of the weight of the aircraft. Recreation or research drones do not require a permit if the weight of the aircraft is less than 7kg. However, an activity permit would be required if the unmanned aircraft is flown outdoors in a restricted or dangerous area or within 5km of a military base regardless of operating height. If drones are flown indoors at a private residence or indoor area and the flying does not affect the general public at all, no permits are required.”

CAAS also notes that additional permits would be needed if items are dropped from the unmanned aircraft, if radio frequencies and power sources used for operating the aircraft do not comply with the guidelines of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), if the aircraft is flown over protected areas or special events, or if photographs are taken in protected areas. A list of such areas has been drawn up, including  the Istana, Parliament House, Supreme Court, and various government buildings, military camps and bases.

The expected processing time for an application is two weeks. Operator permits are valid for up to a year, while activity permits are valid for a single activity or single block of repeated activities.


On July 13th the United States and Singapore conducted their annual joint military exercises. The Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise was one of the first such exercises in which both countries used drones in a training exercises of this type. According to The Diplomat, “The Royal Singapore Navy deployed its ScanEagle surveillance drone from the decks of the Victory-class missile corvettes RSS Vigor and RSS Valor, while the USN’s Fire Scout unmanned helicopter will be launched from the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth.”

Singapore Technologies Aerospace provides a range of unmanned and manned systems to Singapore’s military.

  • The ST Aerospace Fantail 5000is a Vertical Takeoff and Landing drone modeled after a Coleopter design. It can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes. It has a flight duration of 30 minutes and is capable of hovering under severe weather conditions. Besides surveillance technology, the Fantail can track chemical and biological hazards.
  • The ST Aerospace Skybladeis a catapult-launched reconnaissance drone that can be operated from small clearings and compounds. The Skyblade comes in three models, the III, 360, and IV. Wingspans range from 8-9ft and flight durations of three to 12 hours.


  • Last February, a Singapore-based robotics company, Infinitum Robotics unveiled its prototype of a restaurant server drone, which is intended to combat shortages in Singapore’s service industry.
  • Last April, O’Qualia UAS unveiled a 3D-printed drone. The aircraft, known as the ‘Captor,’ is a fixed wing unmanned system that is delivered in three main parts that click together in-field. The drone has a flight duration of two hours and is customisable for O’Qualia’s various clients.
  • O’Qualia also manufactures the Nomad-B, a reconnaissance and surveillance drone with a wingspan of 11 ft and a flight duration 20+ hours endurance using its EFI 4 stroke engine, and the Pegasus, an industrial-grade aerial imaging and remote inspection drone that comes in four, six, or eight rotor configurations and has a flight endurance of 16 to 45 minutes .
  • Last year, the Coca-Cola Company made an advertisement in which a dronedelivered its signature soda to Singapore’s migrant workers.