In Singapore, permits may be required to operate an unmanned aircraft (UA) under certain conditions. CAAS issues the Operator Permit and the Activity Permit which are required for certain types of UA activities.
Types of UA permits
(1) Operator Permit
An Operator Permit is granted by CAAS to an applicant if the applicant is able to ensure safe operation of UA, taking into account the applicant’s organisational set-up, competency of the personnel especially those flying the UA, 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.
Please click here (PDF, 168 KB) for the list of Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit Holders. This list is updated on a monthly basis.
(2) Activity Permit
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 UA at a specific area of operation, and which are of specific operational profiles and conditions.
There are two types of activity permits:
- A Class 1 Activity Permit is required for UA activities conducted for purposes that are not recreational or research in nature; or if the UA to be used is over 7kg in total mass (including payload). A Class 1 Activity Permit is not valid without an UA Operator Permit.
- A Class 2 Activity Permit is required for UA activities conducted for recreational or research purposes, and which meets any of the following conditions:
- Operating altitude higher than 200 ft (approx. 60 m) above mean sea level (AMSL);
- Within 5 km of a civil/military aerodrome; or
- Within any Restricted Area or Danger Area
Besides CAAS, there are other permits required from various agencies for certain aspects of the unmanned aircraft operation that come under their purview. This includes:
- Singapore Police Force (SPF) for aerial photography and/or overflight of security-sensitive locations
- Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) for use of radio frequencies and power limits other than in IMDA’s guidelines for short range devices.
Please click here for more information on the documents required for an Operator Permit application, and here for document required for an Activity Permit application.
The basic Operator and Activity Permit fees are listed in the table:
Operator Permit (valid for up to one year)
1st UA type
2nd UA and onwards [of different model and type from the 1st UA]
(Class 1 activities require a valid Operator Permit before application)
$75 for each activity
$60 for each activity
Scenarios – Which permit do I get?
- You plan to fly a UA for recreation. A quick check on OneMap / CAAS website finds that your planned location is within 5km of a civil aerodrome / military airbase. You need a Class 2 Activity Permit. It will cost you $60.
- You are a training organisation. You conduct fee-paying courses on safe UA operations, with both practical and theory elements. You have a current Operator Permit but you decide to introduce a new UA type in the course. You will need to vary the current Operator Permit. It will cost you $400.