Singapore’s Ministry of Transport submitted to the Parliament on April 13 a new bill regulating drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Unmanned Aircraft (Public Safety and Security) Act aims to prevent risks and ensure safe usage of such devices.

If approved, drone operators will have a clearer set of rules to abide by, including regulations on type, weight and requirements for flying permits.

Under the new rules, drone operators must get permission if they fly for commercial purposes or specialised services, such as surveying or flying displays.

Drones are not allowed to exceed 7kg in weight. They are also prohibited from carrying dangerous materials such as weapons or bio-chemical or radioactive material.

The new bill will also categorise security-sensitive locations as “protected areas” where drones cannot fly within 150 metres without a permit.

Such restrictions will also apply for "special event areas", or venues designated for major events, such as some areas used during the Southeast Asian Games. Permits will also be required in order to fly within 5km of an airport.

Operators can apply for permits through the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS) online application system.

The initiative is considered a temporary move while the government instigates a framework to promote drone usage for civil and commercial purposes.-VNA