Party over for unlicenced Singaporean recreational drone hobbyists

The party is now over for Singaporean drone hobbyists who until now have been flying small drones without the need for a pilot’s licence.

As report in The New Paper, from February next year, all adults flying recreational drones (or for educational purposes) that weigh above 1.5 kilogrammes will have to go through pilot training lesson and pass an examination before obtaining said licence.

There is a different, more stringent unmanned aircraft pilot licence for people flying drones above 7kg or who are flying them for commercial purposes, regardless of weight, and it will require applicants to prepare by themselves and take a theory test at the Singapore Aviation Academy.

The alternative is a really hefty penalty.

And after the passing of the Vandalism Act in 1966, and the religiousness with which the government has followed the letter of that law, Singaporeans know how serious their government is when it speaks about hefty fines.

Training will be supervised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), who announced that there will be an unmanned aircraft basic training certificate and an unmanned aircraft pilot licence.

“Applicants will have to complete an online training session that will last one to two hours and pass an exam conducted by any CAAS-approved unmanned aircraft training organisation,” the paper said.

Licences will be given to pilots aged sixteen and above; citizens below sixteen must be supervised by an older licence holder.

While the pilot licence was not a requirement before, the government had always required unmanned aerial vehicles weighing at least 250 grammes to be registered must be registered with the aviation authority before they can take to the skies. Individuals and organisations are also required to get a permit to fly a drone weighing more than 7kg, and for any flights 60 metres above ground.

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