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CAAS sets up panel to review regulations on drone use
THE Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has set up an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Advisory Panel (UASAP) that will review Singapore’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) regulatory framework and recommend enhancements to it.
The UASAP will also work with UAS users to promote a safe and responsible culture for the use of drones, CAAS said.
As part of its engagement, the panel will seek views and feedback from users, residents and other stakeholder groups before making its recommendations.
It will be chaired by Timothy De Souza, a veteran RSAF pilot and member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights who has been involved in community service for over 30 years.
He will be joined by 11 members representing key stakeholder groups, including UAS industry and interest groups, UAS training organisations, academia, government agencies, and grassroots organisations.
They include members of the Singapore Police Force, NParks, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and the founder of Just Fly It, a provider of aeronautics and aeromodelling programmes.
Changes to drone regulations were proposed by CAAS in April 2018 after technological advancements in unmanned aircraft made them increasingly popular.
They include a compulsory online training programme, a pilot licensing scheme and partial or full certification for heavier unmanned aircraft of more than 25kg as they present a greater safety risk.
Existing Singapore regulations outlaws the flying of drones within 5km of airports or military airbases, or at altitudes above 200 feet (about 60m), without a permit.
Those found guilty face a fine of up to S$20,000 or up to 12 months in jail, or both.
Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min previously announced in Parliament that CAAS plans to develop a system to monitor unmanned aircraft. It will allow CAAS to check if individual drones are operating under a valid permit, and issue alerts to pilots who fall foul of regulations.
The UASAP is expected to announce its recommendations by early 2020.