Singapore Drone Laws for Leisure Hobbyists or Pros

Singapore has become increasingly popular among drone enthusiasts and commercial UAV users. However, it is important to understand and adhere to the drone laws in Singapore to ensure safe and legal operations. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, also known as CAAS, is responsible for regulating drone activities in the country.

We will explore the drone laws in Singapore, including specific rules for different types of drone users such as

  • hobbyists recreational drone flyers for fun and leisure
  • commercial operators flying drones and UAVs for business reasons
  • tourists and visitors who are flying drones for touristy, photography, and videography memories.

Understanding these UAV regulations is essential for anyone planning to fly drones in Singapore.

Quick Overview of Drone Laws in Singapore

Before we dive into the specific regulations, it is important to have an overall understanding of drone laws in Singapore. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, or CAAS, is the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing drone operations in the country. They have established strict drone regulations to ensure safety and legal compliance. These regulations cover various aspects, including registration, airspace, and safety requirements.

A summary of requirements depending on your drones or your activities. Your drone activities would be categorized under some important markers:-

  1. Weight of drones- 249 grams and below requires no registration.
    • Flying a 1.5 kilogram to 7 kilograms must complete UABT / UA Basic Training.
    • While those flying 7kg and above must be licensed under UAPL.
    • Those flying for business / commercial drones must have UAPL regardless of the weight of the drones.
  2. No permit is required if the drone is below 7 kg and the drone is flying below 200 feet for recreational reasons.
    • You need a permit if your drone is above 7kg or flying above 200 feet, even for recreational flying.
    • Permits are required for all business and commercial drone activities (Operator Permits and Activity Permits are both required)
    • Permits are required for aeronautical flights in restricted airspace
  3. You have to register your drone if it is 250g and above.
    • Hobbyists and tourists may consider 249gram drones that does not need registration. This is why many brands such as DJI have many drones 249g and below.
  4. Drone pilot operators need to take basic theory (UABT) for 1.5 – 7 kg drones,
  5. Drone pilot operators to be licensed (UAPL) for above 7kg drones or any business/commercial flying.

UABT refers to Unmanned Aerial Basic Training that can be learned and taken online

UAPL refers to an Unmanned Aerial Pilot License that requires comprehensive training in practical and theory and is tested before being licensed.

Basic Safety Drone laws and rules in Singapore for safety reasons

  • Drone pilots/operators must always maintain visual contact with their UA or drones.
  • You are not allowed to fly drones over people or crowds.
  • Do not fly drones over emergency response personnel or vehicles or interfere or distract them.
  • Do not fly drones within any airport’s 5-kilometer (roughly 3.1 miles) radius.
    • For a clear no-fly zone map, download the FlySafe app from the Google Play Store or iPhone App store.
  • Drones are to be flown only during daylight hours. You may fly your drones at night only if you can maintain a visual line of sight with your drones at all times. Your drone must have enhanced lighting for greater visibility at night.

These are basic regulations to ensure that drones or UA (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) do not pose a danger to the public at any time in Singapore.

Registering Drone Requirements in Singapore

All drones 250 grams and above must be registered in Singapore.

You must be at least 16 years of age to register a drone under your name and you would be held accountable for all activities involving the UA registered under your name.

Steps for registering your drone in Singapore:-

  1. First, you must order a registration label.
    • You can order over-the-counter at designated SingPost offices via physical forms and presenting your physical NRIC (the SingPass app would not be suitable as they need to photocopy a record). Present a passport if you do not have a local identity card.
    • Each label costs $25.
  2. Or you can purchase a drone registration label online here. It takes 5 days to deliver to your residence.
  3. Prominently stick the label on the exterior of a non-removable drone part (not on the battery or propellers).
  4. Take a photo of the drone with the Registration label
  5. Register your drone online here.
    • Singaporeans and local businesses can use Singpass login.
    • Tourists, foreigners visitors have to use the UAPass Account
How to register your drones with Singapore CAAS

For convenience, go for drones that are 249 grams and below that do not require registration.

Additional Note For Tourists, foreign visitors in flying drones.

First, apply for a UAPass account at the online UA Portal. Do apply before you visit Singapore as the processing time of the UAPass takes about 5 working days.

You can order the registration label online, but it cannot be shipped to international addresses. 

  1. Arrange to ship it your your hotel address or local friends
  2. Or after having a UAPass, purchase a drone label when you are in Singapore via over-the-counter purchases at designated SingPost branches.

Non-Singaporean citizens or permanent residents may order only one label and must apply for additional labels. 

You can purchase the registration label over the counter at designated SingPost outlets. You will need the following:-

  1. Completed physical copy of the UA Registration Label Purchase Form (can be completed at the Singpost branch)
  2. Original copy of Passport. (A singpost officer will help photocopy your passport)
  3. Do note that each label costs SGD$25.

After you have affixed the registration label on your UA, log in to the online UA Portal with your UAPass account to complete the registration.

Singapore UA Pilot Licence UAPL

You need to go for courses and tests to obtain a Unmmaned Aerial Pilot Licence (UAPL) if you intend to fly drones for these reasons:-

  • Your UA or drone is above 7 kg, and flying for any reason, even if only for recreational or educational purposes
  • For commercial purposes or for a purpose that is neither recreational nor educational, regardless of the weight of the drone.

The drone operator does not need UAPL if the venue is an indoor location that is not publicly accessible, except when the purpose is for:

  1. Sporting activity such as a competitive race or tournament, or
  2. An event that more than 50 individuals attend at any time during the event.

Then the above events require UAPL for the drone operators.

How to pass and get a UAPL License

  1. Pass a theory test administered by CAAS;
  2. Pass a practical assessment conducted by an Authorised Flight Examiner within a UATO (Unmanned Aerial Training and Assessment Organisation (UATO); and
  3. Be at least 16 years old at the point of UAPL application.

You can complete a training programme with any CAAS-approved UATOs to acquire the relevant theoretical knowledge and practical experience before attempting the theory test and practical assessment.

You can also go for prep-UAPL courses or courses that give you more practical hands-on flying lessons before going for practical assessment. An analogue would be going for more private driving lessons before taking your traffic police driving test.

Booking UAPL Theory test and UAPL Application

You can book theory test here. Once you have passed both the theory test and practical assessment, please click here to apply for a UAPL.

Book more skillsfuture accredited prep-UAPL courses here or best Drone Photography / Videography courses here. Use your Skillsfuture credits wisely to improve your skillsets to improve your job prospects with drone flying skills.

Recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Singapore

If you are flying your UA indoors:If you are flying your UA outdoors: 
Registration Requirements Register your UA if the total weight is 250g and aboveRegister your UA if the total weight is 250g and above
Pilot RequirementsYou will need to obtain at least a UA Basic Training Certificate  or if the total weight of your UA exceeds 1.5kg but weighs less than or equal to 7kg, and if you are flying your UA:
1. in a place that is publicly accessible; or
2. for an event that is attended by more than 50 individuals at any time during the event.

You will require a UA Pilot Licence if the total weight of your UA exceeds 7kg, and if you are flying your UA:
1. in a place that is publicly accessible; or
2. for an event that is attended by more than 50 individuals at any time during the event.
You will need to obtain at least a UA Basic Training Certificate (Or UAPL) if the total weight of your UA exceeds 1.5kg but weighs less than or equal to 7kg.

You will require a UA Pilot Licence if the total weight of your UA exceeds 7kg. 
Permit RequirementsYou will need both an Operator Permit and a Class 1 Activity Permit if you are flying your UA for an event that is attended by more than 50 individuals at any time during the event.You will need a Class 2 Activity Permit if the total weight of your UA does not exceed 25kg, but you are flying your UA:
1. at an altitude exceeding 200 feet above mean sea level; or
2. within any restricted / danger / protected area; or
3. within 5km of any airport or military airbase.

You will require both an Operator Permit and a Class 1 Activity Permit if:
1. the total weight of your UA exceeds 25kg, regardless of the location and height at which you fly your UA; or
2. you are flying your UA beyond visual line-of-sight, regardless of the weight of your UA.
Simple Table of Drone Registration in Singapore

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