Cross-Border Unmanned Aircraft Flights Are Prohibited Without A Cross-Border Permit

20 November 2023

New cross-border permit framework introduced to safeguard public safety and security

               In recent years, technological advancements have improved the capabilities, flight distance and endurance of unmanned aircraft (“UA”), such that they are able to fly further and carry larger payloads. 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. In Singapore, we witnessed the use of UA for cross-border drug smuggling in 2020[1].

2.             With effect from 21 November 2023, Singapore will implement a new framework for cross-border UA operations. This new framework stipulates that cross-border UA flights are prohibited, except if the operator is issued with a relevant cross-border permit by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

3.             The new framework for cross-border UA operations supplements the existing framework for UA operations within Singapore which was introduced in 2015.

4.             Any UA operator found operating a UA into or out of Singapore illegally will be liable to prosecution by the authorities. The offence carries a penalty of a fine of up to $50,000, an imprisonment term of up to two years, or both. The authorities will also have the powers to take down any unauthorised cross-border UA.

5.             For more information on cross-border UA operations and permit applications, please refer to the CAAS website.


[1] For more information, you may refer to the joint news release by the Singapore Police Force and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority titled “Suspected drug trafficking via unmanned aircraft; four arrested.” published on 20 June 2020 -

For more information, please contact:

Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore

Singapore Police Force

Last Updated on 22 February 2024