CAAS Launches Pilot Dedicated Flying Area to Facilitate Safe Recreational Unmanned Aircraft Operations
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has set up a dedicated area for the flying of unmanned aircraft at Pandan Reservoir. It provides a community space for unmanned aircraft enthusiasts to gather and interact while facilitating and supporting safe and responsible recreational unmanned aircraft operations. The pilot 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 July 2022.
2 The UAFA at Pandan Reservoir provides 16 hectares of flying area over the beautiful Pandan Reservoir waters:
- It is fitted with basic amenities such as tables and benches to provide operators a clean and comfortable place to sit and set up their unmanned aircraft. Previously, operators had to do so on the grass patch which was difficult to do especially when the ground was wet.
- Signages with information on unmanned aircraft regulations and on-site operating guidelines are set up 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. Feather flags and water buoys are set up to mark the boundaries of the flying area which is located at least 400 meters away from the nearest residential blocks to safeguard the privacy and security of residents in those blocks.
- Besides the infrastructure, the UAFA will also hold regular programmes and workshops for community outreach and to educate unmanned aircraft enthusiast on safe and responsible flying.
3 As part of a soft launch, CAAS has conducted five beginner drone workshops for 50 students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and the Singapore University of Technology and Design in June 2022. 25 unmanned aircraft hobbyists were also invited to trial the site to provide feedback on the establishment of the UAFA site at Pandan Reservoir. To bring the UAFA community together, a Telegram group chat has also been set up to provide the latest updates and important notices for the UAFA.
4 The establishment of the UAFA was a key recommendation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Advisory Panel. The Panel comprising representatives from key stakeholder groups was set up in 2019 to help CAAS review and recommend enhancements to Singapore’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems regulatory framework. The implementation of the recommendation and the setting up of the UAFA at Pandan Reservoir is a multi-agency effort involving the CAAS, national water agency PUB, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
5 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.”
6 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.
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation.
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