A dedicated area for the flying of unmanned aircraft has been set up at Pandan Reservoir, where drone enthusiasts can fly their unmanned aircraft without needing a permit – as long as the drones are below 25kg and they are kept below 200 feet above mean sea level.
The first-ever Unmanned Aircraft Flying Area (UAFA) at Pandan Reservoir was officially launched by the Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, Mr S Iswaran on 17 Jul 2022.
According to a press release by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), the UAFA provides a community space for unmanned aircraft enthusiasts to gather and interact while facilitating and supporting safe and responsible recreational unmanned aircraft operations.
16 Hectares of Flying Area with Basic Amenities
The UAFA at Pandan Reservoir provides 16 hectares (400m by 400m) of flying area over the Pandan Reservoir waters.
Signages with information on unmanned aircraft regulations and on-site operating guidelines are also in place to raise awareness and educate enthusiasts on safe flying and good practices to observe in sharing the community space with other reservoir users such as joggers and canoeists.
Additionally, feather flags and water buoys are set up to mark the boundaries of the flying area. This ensures that the flying of unmanned aircraft remains a distance away from the nearest residential blocks to protect the privacy and security of residents in those blocks.
Space to Hold Educational Workshops and Events about Drone Flying
The UAFA will also serve as a dedicated area to hold regular programmes and workshops for community outreach and to educate unmanned aircraft enthusiasts on safe and responsible flying. As part of a soft launch, CAAS conducted five beginner drone workshops for 50 students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and the Singapore University of Technology and Design last month.
25 unmanned aircraft hobbyists were also invited to trial the site to provide feedback on the establishment of the UAFA site at Pandan Reservoir. A Telegram group chat has also been set up to provide the latest updates and important notices for the UAFA.
Normalising a Safe and Responsible Flying Culture
Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, CAAS, said, “The unmanned aircraft flying area will help build a safe and responsible flying culture in Singapore as recreational flying becomes more popular. This is particularly important given our dense urban landscape and competing airspace uses.”
“We are very encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from residents and unmanned aircraft enthusiasts who participated in our pre-launch on-site workshops and hobbyist club trials. They have helped us validate and make further refinements to the pilot site and our educational programmes to make them more accessible and attractive to users.”
The operating hours for the pilot UAFA at Pandan Reservoir are from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily. Interested members of the public can join the Pandan Reservoir UAFA community Telegram Chat “UA Flying Areas” to receive regular updates and important notices for the UAFA site.