Spots like Republic Avenue, Marina Mall Road, Marina Barrage Field, Old Holland Road Big Field, and Kallang Road Field are on many drone pilots’ shortlists for where they’d like to fly.
You can only find these dazzling destinations in Singapore. You must register your drone before using it in this nation. How do you do that?
How to register a drone in Singapore?
Register a drone in Singapore by purchasing a registration label through the UA Portal. You will spend $20 per registration label and must be at least 16 years old to register your drone. Pilots younger than that must operate a drone with an older registered user.
This guide to drone registration in Singapore will address your most pertinent questions, providing guidance on the registration process for first-timers and discussing drone laws for safe flying.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Can I fly a drone in Singapore?
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, or CAAS, establishes aviation rules for this nation and permits drone use throughout Singapore.
However, pilots must understand and abide by CAAS drone laws when operating.
For instance, pilots must register their drones. Commercial pilots also require a permit, as do those who fly in restricted airspace or exceed 200 feet of altitude.
Non-residents are allowed to use drones just the same as Singaporeans if they follow CAAS regulations.
Can I bring a drone to Singapore by plane?
If you live in another part of the world, traveling by plane is necessary to reach Singapore for a commercial project or leisurely vacation.
Can you carry your drone in tow, or do you have to ship it another way?
Drones are permitted onto planes in Singapore, making traveling convenient. Preparation in advance will reduce your stress so your drone can arrive in one piece.
Here’s what I recommend.
Invest in a drone backpack or travel bag
What’s the difference between a drone backpack and an everyday backpack you have lying around in your closet already? Intention.
A standard backpack can carry almost anything but doesn’t have compartments or sections for storing drones specifically. A drone backpack does.
These bags give you the peace of mind that your drone won’t jostle, shake, rattle, and roll around while you transport it across a busy airport and internationally on the plane.
A standard backpack doesn’t carry the same assurance.
You will have to spend a few hundred dollars extra for a good drone backpack, but it would probably cost you more to replace your drone, especially if you own a high-end model.
Declare your drone at customs
You must declare your drone at customs.
You can’t let it fly under the radar (pun intended) like you’re traveling with a standard laptop or electronic. Make it clear what’s in your bag.
Give yourself time to spare
You know how getting through security checks at the airport can be.
When you bring an unconventional item like a drone with you, you might double your average check-in time. Get to the airport as early as you can so you don’t miss your flight.
Check the airline’s requirement for batteries
You should store allowed batteries in a separate compartment of your travel backpack. Do not keep them in your drone.
Carry your drone as checked luggage
My last tip is one of the most important. Register your drone as a carry-on or checked luggage.
Before buying a drone backpack or travel bag, check the airline’s required dimensions for carry-ons and ensure the bag matches those specifications.
Can I register a drone in Singapore as a non-resident?
Some countries prohibit non-residents from registering drones, but Singapore isn’t one of them. However, there’s a caveat.
Non-residents can only buy one registration label, which means registering one drone. Singaporeans can purchase up to five.
How to register a drone in Singapore (Step by step)
It’s great news to learn you can register and fly a drone in Singapore whether you live here permanently or are just visiting.
So how do you get started? This section will tell you all you need to know for UA registration.
Step 1: Determine if you must register your drone
Pilots 16 years and older can register a drone in Singapore. Those under 16 must fly a drone registered by a legal guardian or parent.
Drones that weigh under 250 grams don’t need registration.
Step 2: Create an account on the UA Portal
The UA Portal is a CAAS drone registration resource. You can visit by clicking here.
The portal requires a login for businesses or individual pilots.
The latter use Singpass, a Singaporean digital identification app. You can download the Singpass app for free on the Huawei AppGallery, Google Play Store, or Apple App Store.
You can also log into the UA Portal using a UAPass if you don’t have a Singpass account. This is recommended for tourists and non-residents.
You must wait five business days for approval of a UAPass request, so plan accordingly when planning a trip to Singapore.
Step 3: Register your drone
UA Portal requires drone details, including the weight, flight controller number, drone serial number, model, and brand.
You must also share your personal details, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address.
Registering means agreeing to UA Portal’s terms. You should only register a drone you or your company owns. You cannot register a friend or family member’s drone on their behalf.
You can face severe legal punishments if you provide false information during your drone registration.
Step 4: Complete the UA Registration Label Purchase Form
Accompanying your payment for drone registration through UA Portal is the UA Registration Label Purchase Form. You will only spend five minutes filling out this form, according to CAAS.
Let’s review its contents. Section A, Personal Particulars, requires your name as seen on your passport, ate of birth, mobile phone number, passport number, address, and email address.
Section B, Declaration, requires a signature and date. This section is a personal declaration of the following:
- Consenting to disclosure, use, or collection of your personal data by third parties
- Fully understanding the instructions and rules of the UA Registration Label Purchase Form
- Fully understanding that lying about the information on your registration form could void a registration label you buy
- Providing accurate and true information on the form
Step 5: Pay the registration fee
Registering a drone in Singapore is $20 Singaporean dollars or $14.67 USD. However, the price will increase to $25 Singaporean dollars on January 15th, 2024, which is $17.60 USD.
Purchasing your registration label online requires a digital copy of a passport, FIN, or NRIC.
You can also purchase the label in person at some SingPost post offices. You need an original and photocopy of your passport, FIN, or NRIC and the UA Registration Label Purchase Form printed and filled out.
The participating SingPost post offices in the north are in Yishun Centra and Woodlands Central.
In the West, you can visit the Jurong West, Jurong Point, Jurong East, Clementi Central, Choa Chu Kang Central, Bukit Panjang, or Bukit Batok Central SingPost post office to register your drone.
The participating post offices in Central Singapore are Toa Payoh Central, Tanglin, Ghim Moh Estate, Bukit Timah, and Bukit Merah Central.
You can visit Serangoon Central, Sengkang Central, Punggol, Houngang Central, or Ang Mo Kio Central SingPost post offices in the North-East.
The Eastern participating post offices are in Tampines Central, Pasir Ris Central, General Post Office, and Bedok Central.
Step 6: Receive and affix the registration label
You will have your registration label handy same-day if you purchase it at a post office. You’ll have to wait longer for an online registration.
Once you have the registration label, stick it on your drone. That’s the only way to complete the online registration, as you must upload a photo of your drone with the label.
CAAS recommends sticking the label on a drone’s non-detachable and visible surface, such as the main body.
Do not put the label on any detachable parts, including payload, battery, propeller guard, or propellers.
» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Bali?
Can I fly my drone registered to Singapore in Malaysia?
Malaysia and Singapore’s proximity to one another in Southeast Asia means that many who visit one sovereign nation often jump over to the other one when they’re done.
Must you register a drone in Malaysia that you registered in Singapore?
It appears that way. Malaysia drone use is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia or CAAM versus CAAS in Singapore. You can contact CAAM for more information, but plan to register your drone again if you visit.
Singapore drone laws for recreational and commercial use
Now that you’ve registered your drone in Singapore, you’re ready to take to the skies. Review these commercial and recreational drone laws from CAAS before you do.
You must have a permit to fly a heavier drone
Whether your drone weighs 7 kilograms out of the box or gets heavier through payload, CAAS law requires you to apply for a permit for the drone before you fly it.
You must maintain VLOS when operating
VLOS, or visual line of sight, is a drone rule that requires pilots to always have eyes on their drones when operating.
You must be able to spot your drone without using binoculars, although you can wear glasses or contacts.
You must have a permit to photograph sensitive buildings
Do you plan to take photos of:
- Naval dockyards
- Military bases and camps
- Government buildings
- Paya Lebar Airbase
- Singapore Supreme Court
- Parliament House
- The Istana
- Changi Airport
You need a permit.
When flying a drone in Singapore
- You cannot operate a drone after dark: Singaporean drone law only permits UAV operations between dawn and dusk. Don’t take the chance to fly at night.
- You must keep your distance from property and people: Maintain a reasonable distance from other drones and aircraft, buildings and property, and crowds during your drone operations, including commercial and recreational flights.
- You must not fly near an airport: CAAS drone law restricts pilots from operating nearer than 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles from the closest airport.
- You must only fly in clear conditions: If you wake up to a foggy day or other weather conditions reduce your visibility, you should not use your drone. This goes against the law, and it’s dangerous to fly in poor conditions, anyway.
- Do not fly over moving vehicles: Distracting motorists with your drone is illegal, so avoid flying near or over any moving vehicles.
- Stay away when emergency service providers are working: Interrupting emergency service operations can prevent people from receiving the life-saving care they need. Do not use your drone around these scenes.
- Don’t use your drone over crowds: CAAS prefers pilots to avoid operating drones over crowds to prevent panic and possible injury.
- Don’t transport toxic materials on your drone: Radioactive and biochemical materials and weapons of any kind are illegal for transport on your drone.
- Don’t drop objects from your drone: Check your drone accessories before launching to ensure they’re snug and secure. Intentionally or accidentally dropping objects from your drone is illegal in Singapore.
- Fly within the regulated altitude: CAAS law allows pilots to fly their drones within 200 feet from ground level.
What happens if I break drone laws in Singapore?
Forging details in your drone registration can lead to prison sentences of up to six months and/or fines of $10,000 Singaporean dollars ($7,332.72 USD).
Endangering others with your drone, such as flying close to property and people, can also lead to fines, especially if you tangle with military aircraft.
As this article details, a Singaporean resident was hit with a hefty fine in 2022 of $51,000 Singaporean dollars (approximately $37,000 USD) for operating near a military base two years prior.
The report mentions that failing to pay the large fine would lead to a jail sentence of 100 days.
Do yourself a favor and obey CAAS laws when you fly to avoid wasting large sums of money!
How to check for restricted areas in Singapore
Singapore drone laws strictly enforce avoidance of no-fly zones, but how do you discern those areas from unrestricted airspace? You need resources.
FLYWHERE is a Singaporean website with a full map of the nation. As you click around, FLYWHERE will tell you where you can’t operate without a permit, which areas have temporary restrictions, and which are no-fly zones.
You can toggle between 2D and 3D map views and search for specific locales. Best of all, this resource is free, so bookmark it ahead of your travels.
OneMap is another excellent website provided by the Singapore Government Agency. You can view only no-fly zones across Singapore or recommended areas to fly.
The map is more no-frills and doesn’t offer 3D views, but I love how you can get right to the meat of the matter by searching for no-fly zones.
Do I need insurance to fly a drone in Singapore?
Whether you need insurance for drone flights in Singapore depends on your permit and drone weight. Low-weight drones under 250 grams don’t require insurance, while heavier drones that need a permit do.
While insurance is only sometimes mandatory in Singapore, I would encourage you to purchase it regardless.
A full-bodied insurance policy can protect you if you cause an accident with your drone.
The policy could cover some of the costs of drone repairs or replacement, medical bills for accidents caused, and lawsuits if they arise.
CAAS contact details in Singapore
Do you need to contact CAAS about a drone permit, registration, or deregistration?
Address all general inquiries to the CAAS Corporate Office. Here’s the contact information.
- Address: Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, 60 Airport Boulevard, 4th Story, Terminal 2, Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore 819643
- Mailing address: Singapore Changi Airport, P.O. Box 1, Singapore 918141
- Phone number: 65-6542-1122
- Fax number: 65-6542-1231
Contact the Singapore Aviation Academy for training inquiries. Here’s how.
- Address: Singapore Aviation Academy, 1 Aviation Drive, Singapore 499867
- Phone number: 65-6543-0433
- Fax number: 65-6542-9890
- Email address: email@example.com
For emergency inquiries:
- Secure telephone number: 65-6540-6333
- Alternate telephone number: 65-6540-6225