Frequently asked questions
What are the permits you need to fly in Singapore?
1. Operator’s Permit – An annual permit that CAAS issues to companies that are qualified to be UAV operators. Skyshot was one of the first companies in Singapore to be issued an operator permit.
2. Activity Permit - Issued by CAAS for any commercial drone activities. Skyshot will make the necessary arrangements to obtain this when an aerial project is confirmed. The permit will have information including flight window, location, and height restrictions.
3. Location Filming Permit - Depending on the location of the launch site, a general filming permit may be needed. For example, a filming permit from NParks may be required for filming in parks in Singapore. This is sometimes obtained by the clients themselves.
I know how to fly a drone, can I apply for the activity permit?
What if the UAV activity permit is not approved, do I get charged?
We have a lot of experience with CAAS activity permit applications. This is because we have done many drone flights across different parts of Singapore. So before we take on a project, we will advice our clients if the proposed flight location may be approved by CAAS. Skyshot charge $250 for the UAV activity permit application. This is to cover for the cost of the application fees that CAAS charge, irregardless of the final approval.
Is the UAV activity permit difficult to get?
Skyshot has done aerial drone filming in most parts of Singapore, so we are very familiar with the CAAS drone regulations and restrictions. The CAAS activity permit approval depends on the filming location, flight path and the timing. For CAAS to approve the flight, there are several other government agencies involved;
1. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) – regarding sensitive locations like Istana, Parliament House, SAF camps, etc. - The specific locations are published in the Government Gazette and on the OneMap portal.
2. Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) – regarding military aerial activities
3. Maritime Port Authorities (MPA) – for flights over the waters of Singapore.
4. IMDA – regarding the usage of radio frequencies and power limits for drone flight controllers. Other agencies, like NParks & LTA may be involved as well. It usually takes CAAS 1 to 2 weeks to issue the permit. CAAS is very helpful and pro-active in the application process but it will take them 1 to 2 weeks to approve the application.
What does Skyshot have at least 2 crew on an aerial shoot?
CAAS requires that all commercial UAV flights are to be conducted with dedicated safety personnel, thus it is illegal to fly alone. Building on that, we believe that a 3-man team is the best set-up for more complex flights. Beside the drone pilot who controls the UAV, we have the Aerial Director who controls the camera gimbal and directs the pilot. Lastly, a spotter is on-site to maintain line-of-sight on the drone and look out for blind spots and other obstacles.
How high & far can you fly?
CAAS regulations limit our maximum flight distance to 500M. Maximum operating height depends on the location, which is typically around 60 meters. However, it is our policy not to fly our drone out of sight.
What happens if it rains on the day of shoot?
We try our best apply for at least a 3-day UAV activity permit, to cater for alternative flight dates in case of inclement weather. The 3-day flight windows giving us flexibility for planning and execution.
Can I fly a drone indoors?
Flying indoors is possible, however, it depends on factors like ceiling height, ground obstacles and human traffic. A CAAS UAV activity permit is still needed. Therefore, we recommend doing a site recce beforehand to assess the location’s suitability. An alternative, safer method is to use our Posmo. The Osmo provides stability and the pole, the height needed. It is a stabilized camera attached to a pole, operated manually by a single operator. We can get an aerial shot about 3 meters high in crowded spaces without the endangering the public. Watch Video
Can I fly a drone for a public event?
Skyshot has done aerial filming for events like the DBS Regatta and OCBC Cycle. For safety reasons, CAAS does not allow drone flights directly above public walking spaces. Careful planning of the flight path is thus required to prevent any danger to the public. Here is an example of an aerial video for a public event.
I need aerial filming done near an airport, can it be done?
Skyshot has developed 2 aerial platforms, the Crane Cam, and tethered drone for locations where drones are not allowed.
1. The Crane Cam is a remote control DSLR camera system that is hoisted by an industrial crane. Operated by a 2-men team, the Crane-cam is used in several projects like the LTA road construction project near Paya Lebar Airbase. The project requires monthly aerial photos to document the construction progress. By using the Crane Cam, we are able to overcome the drone no-fly zones.
2. The second solution is the tethered drone. We use it extensively in several projects like Pulau Tekong & Changi East. These sites are within the Changi Airport's "drone no-fly zones"