CAAS Sets up 2nd Dedicated Area for Flying Unmanned Aircraft

6 July 2024

Streamlines UA regulations to reduce regulatory burden and cost without compromising public safety and security 


               On 6 July 2024, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance, Chee Hong Tat, launched the Unmanned Aircraft Flying Area (UAFA) at Dover Road (where the former Warren Golf Course was). This is the second dedicated area set up by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) for recreational unmanned aircraft (UA) flying in Singapore, following the success of the inaugural UAFA at Pandan Reservoir which was launched in July 2022. 

New Dedicated Flying Area 

2               Like the first UAFA, the UAFA at Dover Road comes equipped with basic on-site amenities such as tables and benches to provide users a comfortable place to mingle and set up their UA. Feather flags to demarcate the boundaries and signages with information on UA regulations and operating guidelines on-site are set up to safeguard public safety and promote safe and responsible UA flying. 


3               Compared to the first UAFA at Pandan Reservoir which is mostly over water, the UAFA at Dover Road, offering 0.6 hectares of flying area over land and greenery, provides a unique and different experience. Flying over land rather than water allows easier retrieval of UA and makes the site more accessible to UA enthusiasts of all skill levels, including beginners. 

4               A stone-throw away from various education institutions including Singapore Polytechnic and Dover Court International, the UAFA at Dover Road provides a community space for UA enthusiasts, particularly students and nearby residents, to gather and interact while facilitating safe and responsible recreational UA flying. Its proximity to educational institutions also facilitates youth outreach and engagement through educational workshops and collaboration with institutions to research on innovative and beneficial UA applications.

5               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 inaugural UAFA at Pandan Reservoir had received positive feedback from UA enthusiasts and nearby residents since its launch in July 2022. The UAFA at Pandan Reservoir offers spectacular views but flying over waters has proved challenging for some beginners for whom the new UAFA at Dover Road provides an alternative. The launch of the UAFA at Dover Road marks another milestone in the multi-agency effort led by CAAS and involving the Republic of Air Force Singapore (RSAF), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to provide a safe and conducive environment for recreational UA operations. 

New Programmes to Cultivate Safe and Responsible UA Flying

6               Alongside the setting up of a new dedicated flying area, CAAS will roll out three new programmes to reach out to and engage Singaporeans on safe and responsible UA flying in collaboration with community partners.  

  • Collaboration with Singapore Scouts Association to roll out an inaugural Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused UA programme which culminates in the achievement of a Scouts UA Air Badge. A total of 36 Scouts, who have completed the programme including UA workshops at the UAFA at Dover Road, received their UA Air Badges from Minister Chee at the launch event today.
  • Collaboration with the People’s Association to introduce UA workshops for Dover residents and to set up a drone club for drone enthusiasts. 
  • Collaboration with Association of Drone Soccer Singapore to facilitate training opportunities at the UAFA at Dover Road to promote drone soccer as a recreational activity.

7               Mr Tan Kah Han, Senior Director of the Unmanned Systems Group, CAAS, said, “The growing interest in unmanned aircraft activities both recreational and commercial is a testament to the increasing appeal and versatility of unmanned aircraft. It underscores the need for inclusive and well-managed spaces that cater to diverse interests and skill levels, while promoting safety, education, and positive engagement within the community. By working closely with our stakeholders, CAAS will facilitate and support safe and responsible use through the dedicated unmanned aircraft flying areas, outreach programmes with community partners and enabling regulations.”   

8               The UAFA at Dover Road will run until June 2025. Interested members of the public can join the UAFA community Telegram Chat “UA Flying Areas” to receive regular updates and important notices about the UAFA sites at Dover Road and Pandan Reservoir.

Streamlining UA Regulations

9               Besides setting up dedicated flying areas and rolling out new programmes, CAAS continues to review its UA regulations to ensure that they remain fit-for-purpose and that evaluation procedures are risk-based. 

10             In February this year, CAAS set up a new framework for UA operations over roads. Under this framework, CAAS will grant approval to UA Operator Permit holders that meet the regulatory requirements to conduct such operations. Before this, UA operations over roads were prohibited; UA Operator Permit holders needed to land the UA, cross the road and relaunch it when flying over large areas encompassing roads. The rule change will help enhance operational efficiency and reduce business cost.

11            CAAS has also seen a growing interest in UA light shows in Singapore and anticipates more of such events including of overseas light shows brought to Singapore. These shows typically deploy hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of UA to execute formation flight and stunning visual display using sophisticated programming. Under the current UA regulation, to conduct a UA light show1, an operator needs to register all the new UA weighing above 250g involved in the light show and ensure that each new UA is affixed with a registration label. The operator also needs to apply for a UA Operator Permit2 and a Class 1 Activity Permit3.

12            CAAS has reviewed the regulatory requirements for conducting UA light shows, taking into consideration feedback from operators. With effect from 6 July 2024, CAAS will regulate UA light show just on an operator and activity basis and remove the need for operators to register each UA involved in the light show. CAAS has amended Air Navigation (101 – Unmanned Aircraft Operations) Regulations 2019 (“ANR-101”) to effect this change.

13            The revision will remove the regulatory burden of having to register every UA, including spare UA, and to stick labels on every UA involved in the light show. New UA light show operators will also benefit from the overall cost savings. After the review, the fee for initial application of Class 1 Activity Permit for UA light shows will be S$500 and the fee for subsequent application of Class 1 Activity Permit for UA light shows at the same location with the same UA type will be S$425, regardless of the number of UA flown. It currently costs an operator about S$25,000 to conduct a UA light show involving 1,000 new UA. With the revised regulatory requirements, the cost incurred by these operators will amount to only S$500 for the first application and S$425 for any subsequent applications. Please refer to the following table for an illustration of the cost savings for a UA light show involving 1,000 new UA. 

Regulatory Fees

(for UA Light Show Involving 1,000 UA)

Before Review

After Review

(first application)

After Review

(subsequent application)

Registration Label @ S$25 per new UA 


Class 1 Activity Permit per UA Light Show S$120S$500S$425




14            The streamlining of regulatory requirements for UA light shows is done without compromising public safety and security. CAAS has enhanced the process of the Class 1 Activity Permit for UA light shows to ensure that safety and security is maintained without the registration of individual UA. Operators will be required to submit the UA serial numbers when applying for UA light shows Activity Permit. There will be no change to the UA Operator Permit evaluation process and associated application fees.


Annex A - Factsheet on Unmanned Aircraft Flying Area at Pandan Reservoir

1 A UA light show is defined as the operation of two or more UA which are: (i) equipped with lights (such as light emitting diode); and (ii) flying in coordinated patterns to create visual effects in the air. 

2 In granting the Operator Permit, CAAS needs to assess the airworthiness of the UA and the procedures the operator has for the operations of the UA.

3 IN granting the Activity Permit, CAAS needs to coordinate the necessary airspace clearance and assess the necessary procedures and risk mitigations in place at the operating location.

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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