Updated: Oct 2020
The Recreational Flyer
By Feb 2021, you must have obtained a UABT (Unmanned Aircraft Basic Training) cert in order to operate a drone in Singapore if you’re operating a drone that is 1.5 – 7kg. It cost $30 and can be taken at authorised training organisations. As of writing, there are 2 such organisations here. If you’re flying the DJI Mavic 1, 2 Pro, Air, DJI Spark. You just need to have the CAAS stickers, stay below 200 feet, out of 5km of any aerodomes, you do not need a UABT to fly.
The Commercial Flyer
You will need to have a UAPL Unmanned Aircraft Pilot License. In order to get that, you will have to have attended an optional training with an approved training organisation, pay $125 for the theory test, completed a practical test then apply for the UAPL at $500 and has perpetual lifetime. Commercial flyers would have been informed a year in advanced, this is just for info.
You are on short term visit to Singapore, for holiday. If your drone is below 1.5kg, you do not need UABT. See above under recreational flyer.
After you have hold any of the above, your drone must have been registered with CAAS. The stickers cost $15 each and must be displayed on the drone. Register here.
So what if you do not have the above? What are the penalties?
Users who fail to comply with the UA Basic Training requirements could face a fine of up to $50,000, or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years, or both for a first offence and up to $100,000, or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, or both for a second or subsequent offence. In addition, users who fail to produce a valid UA Basic Training certificate, UA Pilot Licence (UAPL), activity or operator permit during the verification checks by CAAS enforcement officers could face a fine up to $20,000 for a first offence, and a fine of up to $40,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 months, or both for a second or subsequent offence.
It is what it is
As of writing, Aug 2020, this is what is being done and what will be done come Feb 2021. There are comments on how this is killing flying in Singapore, how it will stifles innovation or even STEM, education on drones. I think we have to see it from a safety point of view. There has been multiple cases of errant flyers. It was slowly coming to a point where the authorities have to step in. The comparison can be done with the Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) that was recently banned in Singapore. No e-scooters, hoverboards and electric skateboards etc on footpaths.
Do we want this hobby to be completed banned? There are 6000+ drones being registered with CAAS as of writing, do we want to be kept to a specific field, Singapore being already so small, how crowded will this field be?
Created 2 March 2016
Reviewed – 28 Dec 2017
Updated 2 Feb 2018
In what was problem that was actually caused by the manufacturers, passengers are actually penalised on how much watt hours worth of batteries you can hand carry on board planes.
Watt hours is what airlines uses. We are lucky there’s the Internet. It’s actually not much, for example, we use the popular 5200mAh and 5000mAh 4S lipos.
Converted, they are 76.96 and 74 watt hour respectively.
Convert using this or use
(mAh)*(V)/1000 = (Wh)
Other popular batteries (values are per battery) –
DJI Mavic – 43.66 Wh
DJI Phantom 3 – 68 Wh
DJI Phantom 4 – 81.3 Wh
DJI Inspire 1 – 129 Wh
***Do Not Check in Any Batteries in luggage. Always hand carry.***
Singapore – Cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries will be banned from passenger aircraft from April 1 to reduce the risk of onboard fires.
Gist of it:
Jetstar Asia – carry on only, two lithium-ion batteries under 101 (6824.32 mAh 4S Lipo) watt-hours each that are part of electronic equipment.
– Only one other spare battery under 101 watt-hours may be carried on board,
- There are no restrictions for batteries under 101Wh (eg found in mobile phones, laptops)
- All spare batteries must travel as carry-on baggage.
- Batteries in checked baggage must have the ON/OFF switch protected to prevent accidental activation.
- Batteries between 101Wh and 160Wh (eg in medical equipment) require airline approval, which you can request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Any batteries over 160Wh must be sent by Qantas Freight (except motorised mobility aids, see below).
Tigerair – board personal devices with a capacity of up to 160 watt-hours (10810.81 mAh 4S Lipo).
Singapore Airlines allows laptops and mobile phones with less than 100 watt-hours (6756.75 mAh 4S Lipo) and a lithium content of less than 2g as onboard items.
But the move will not apply to personal devices that are carried on board, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said yesterday.
The United Nations aviation agency’s precautionary step comes after years of industry concerns that lithium-ion batteries could fuel undetected fires in the cargo hold of planes.
Most airlines now do not allow passengers to check in lithium-ion batteries unless they are contained within personal devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones.
While there have been no serious incidents so far, lithium battery-powered equipment is suspected to have caused a fire in an empty aircraft parked at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2013.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said ICAO’s latest restriction will be conveyed to airlines and other relevant industry players.
“Currently, passengers are permitted to carry portable electronic devices containing lithium batteries in checked-in or carry-on bags,” she said.
“However, spare batteries, including power banks, are not permitted to be carried in check-in bags. They are permitted in hand- carry bags only.”
Singapore carriers also have their own guidelines, on top of what is now required by the regulator.
On Jetstar Asia flights, those who wish to carry the items onboard are allowed two lithium-ion batteries under 101 watt-hours each that are part of electronic equipment.
Only one other spare battery under 101 watt-hours may be carried on board, said a spokesman.
On Tigerair, passengers may carry on board personal devices with a capacity of up to 160 watt-hours.
Singapore Airlines allows laptops and mobile phones with less than 100 watt-hours and a lithium content of less than 2g as onboard items. A mobile phone typically uses a battery that is less than 10 watt-hours.
CAAS conducts regular audits and inspections to ensure guidelines are adhered to, said a spokesman.
ICAO president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said: “Safety is always our most fundamental priority in international civil aviation.”
The prohibition, coming after extensive reviews, is an interim measure until a new lithium battery packaging performance standard is introduced, possibly by 2018, he said.
The latest move has been eagerly awaited by aircraft manufacturer and pilots associations, which have been the most vocal advocates for the new safety measure, he said.
160Wh per battery. You are permitted 2 pieces. Total 320Wh. (That’s 8 x Mavic batteries per passenger.)
“Maximum of two spare batteries in carry-on baggage only”
- The battery must be removed
- The battery must be kept in a protective pouch
- WH (Watt Hour) of the battery must not exceed 160Wh
- Ensure the Wifi/Bluetooth/GPS is switched off
- A maximum of 2 spare batteries in the cabin baggage is allowed*
160Wh per battery. You are permitted 2 pieces. Total 320Wh. (That’s 8 x Mavic batteries OR 4 x Phantom 4 batteries per passenger.)