Drones and the Smart Nation Vision

But Permits Needed for Operating them

Drones are expected to play an important role in Singapore’s race towards becoming the world’s first Smart Nation. Those unmanned aerial devices can help in the collection and analysis of urban data.

amazon-prime-air-drone-closeupBut, according to reports in the media today, a 55-year-old man was given a stern warning after he was caught flying drones during the recent SEA Games in Singapore. He is said to have flown the drones to capture photographs of the fireworks at the Games.

It is only now that drones are beginning to make waves, with Amazon’s innovative plans for speedy parcel delivery spurring it on.

Laws to Regulate Drones: Reading the report in The Straits Times I realized that Singapore already had laws to regulate use of drones in the country. The report said: “Flying a drone in a designated Special Event Area such as the National Stadium is an offence under the Public Order Act.”

When it comes to the use of technology Singapore has always stayed ahead. The incident, though, is evidence that it does not throw caution to the wind when embracing new-generation technologies and updates its laws accordingly.

Innovations and inventions, after all, cannot be allowed to interfere with public safety and convenience. 

It did not lag behind on the drone phenomenon as well and had outlined the regulations way before the commencement of the SEA Games.

Amazon’s plans to deliver packages using drones are set to crystallise but they too await clearances.

During 1994-1995, when I was working for the Singapore Press Holdings Group, publishers of The Straits Times, I had seen some aerial equipment for some internal delivery (of mails, presumably). It did not occur to me then that they were the equivalent of today’s drones.

When I think of it now, I see that the media group was so ahead of the times then!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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