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Certification, licence required to fly certain unmanned aircraft from February 2021

Certification, licence required to fly certain unmanned aircraft from February 2021

File photo of a remote controlled drone hovering in the air (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Users of certain unmanned aircraft (UA) will need to meet new training requirements from February 2021 in order to fly their equipment in Singapore, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a media release on Tuesday (Oct 13).

These new requirements - in the form of either a UA Basic Training Certificate or a UA Pilot Licence - are in addition to the mandatory registration of any UA weighing more than 250g, as well operating permits for using UA for business and those operate that beyond visual line-of-sight.

CAAS defines UA as aircraft that are flown remotely, including radio-controlled aircraft, drones and remote-controlled kites.

READ: The Big Read: Rise of the drones - capable of good and evil, they pose a regulatory dilemma

The training certificate will be needed to ensure UA users have basic operational knowledge and better understanding of the risks involved in operating such aircraft, CAAS said.

Similarly, the pilot licence is required for users who fly UA in the course of their business or for purposes that are not recreational or educational. 

READ: Singapore's drone sector takes off with more potential for range of uses: Industry players

An example of a user who now requires a training certificate is someone who is 16 years old or older and operates a UA weighing more than 1.5kg but not exceeding 7kg, for a recreational or education purpose. 

If the UA weighs more than 7kg, a pilot's licence is needed. The applicant must be at least 16 years old and must pass a theory test followed by a practical assessment.

The user may prepare for the theory test and the practical assessment through self-study or by attending a training course conducted by a CAAS-approved UA Training and Assessment Organisation, the civil aviation authority said.

For further information on the training certificate or pilot licence, users can visit www.caas.gov.sg/flyitsafe.

Users can now apply for the certificate or licence, CAAS said.

"Any person who does not obtain a UABTC (certificate) or a UAPL (licence) as required is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding S$50,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years, or to both, for the first offence," CAAS said, adding that the penalties for repeated offences would be doubled. 

For not producing a valid permit for verification by a CAAS enforcement officer, a person is liable to a fine of up to S$20,000 for the first offence. 

A second or subsequent offence could mean a fine of up to S$40,000 or a maximum jail term of 15 months, or both.

Source: CNA/kv(ac)

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