Senior Minister of State (Transport) Lam Pin Min announced on Facebook yesterday that recommendations by the Transport Ministry to regulate drone usage in Singapore has since been accepted by an advisory panel.
They include compulsory registration of all devices with a take-off weight of above 250g and a minimum age limit of 16 for operators. These could be implemented as new drone regulations “as soon as the end of this year”.
Other new measures the panel had recommended include making an unmanned aircraft identifiable and capping the registration fee of a drone at $20.
Minister Lam describes these recommendations as “sensible” and shared that he has asked the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to announce details of the implementation in the coming weeks.
He also said the relevant authorities are stepping up public education efforts and exploring stricter penalties to deter errant drone usage.
These increased penalties for errant users of unmanned aircraft have been proposed under the Air Navigation (Amendment) Bill 2019, which was introduced in Parliament yesterday by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
According to a Transport Ministry fact sheet, a drone operator flying without an activity permit or other required aviation safety instruments can be jailed for up to two years for the first offence, and up to five years for subsequent offences.
Currently, such errant operators can be fined up to $50,000 for the first offence and up to $100,000 for subsequent offences.
The Transport Ministry fact sheet also revealed that penalties will be stiffened for offences such as taking unauthorised photographs of a protected area, flying over a protected area and using an air-craft in a way that endangers the life or property of another person.
The punishments include longer jail time and higher fines.
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