Singapore aviation authority opens dedicated drone test area at Pandam resevoir

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has opened a 16 ha Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flying Area (UAFA) at Pandan Reservoir. Officiated by Minister of Transport S Iswaran, the launch event was a culmination of the UAS Advisory Panel’s recommendations and the efforts of CAAS to make drone/RC flying safer and more accessible to the public. The establishment of the UAFA was a recommendation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Advisory Panel and is the result of a multi-agency effort involving the CAAS, national water agency PUB, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

In the context of the heavily urbanised environment and congested airspace of Singapore, such designated flying areas are helpful to test drone flights in safety. Examples of unmanned aircraft include radio-controlled aircraft, drones and remote-controlled kites.

The UAFA will also host regular programmes and workshops for community outreach and to educate unmanned aircraft enthusiasts on safe and responsible flying.

The operating hours for the pilot UAFA are from 9am to 6pm daily, and interested members of the public can join the Pandan Reservoir UAFA community Telegram chat “UA Flying Areas” to receive regular updates and important notices regarding the site. The pilot will run until Jan 2023, after which CAAS will review the scheme’s results taking into account user and public feedback.

Signs with information on unmanned aircraft regulations and on-site operating guidelines have been put up in the area to “raise awareness and educate enthusiasts on safe flying and good practices” in sharing the community space with other reservoir users.

Any unmanned aircraft weighing more than 250g must be registered in Singapore. As of Jun 30, 16,095 unmanned aircraft have been registered, with 273 valid unmanned aircraft operator permit holders, according to figures provided by CAAS.

The pilot Unmanned Aircraft Flying Area (UAFA) at Pandan Reservoir “provides a community space for unmanned aircraft enthusiasts to gather and interact while facilitating and supporting safe and responsible recreational unmanned aircraft operations,” saidCAAS in a media release.

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