Singapore has implemented stringent measures to control the operation of unmanned aircraft (UAs) across its borders.
The new policy, which will come into effect on November 21, 2023, was jointly announced by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF). It aims to enhance national security and public safety.
Moreover, the policy significantly expands upon the existing framework that has governed in-country UA operations since 2015. The Singapore Unmanned Aircraft (Public Safety and Security) Act, passed in 2015, established regulations for the safe operation of UAs, requiring permits for drones weighing more than seven kilograms or flying within five kilometers of an aerodrome.
The new regulations categorically ban cross-border unmanned aircraft operations without a specific permit.
“Such flights may pose a danger to public safety and security. Globally, we have seen cases of UAs disrupting airport operations, as well as being used for criminal activities, such as for smuggling, and to conduct terror attacks,” the CAAS and the SPF said in a joint statement issued on November 20, 2023.
Authorities have been granted extensive powers to enforce these regulations, including the authority to intercept and take down unauthorized unmanned aircraft.
Operators found violating these rules face severe repercussions, including fines of up to SGD $50,000 (approximately USD $37,000), imprisonment for up to two years, or both.