Recently, on 18 and 19 June 2019, some 37 flights were delayed and one of Changi Airport's two runways saw operations affected for 10 hours after unauthorised drones were spotted flying in the vicinity of the airport.
And this is not the first time that UAVs have been spotted near Changi Airport. According to Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min, he reported in parliament that there had been eight reports of unauthorised drones flying within 5km of Changi Airport over the past three years.
These rogue drone activities in airport no-fly zones are dangerous and they damage the public’s already fragile perception of the drone community. For professional drone community, these incidents make our job all the more difficult. If these unlawful drone activities continue to make headlines, the authorities have more reasons to restrict the Singapore airspace and drone activities. Our work, which depends on the CAAS drone activity permits, will get harder in the future.
Moreover, there is no reason to fly a drone illegally near airports when there are tethered drone solutions specially made for this purpose. CAAS approves tethered drones systems like the LIFELINE for use in airport no-fly zones. Made in Singapore by Skyshot and Flare Dynamics, the LIFELINE-S consist of a ground battery unit that powers up the drone with a 40M cable. Much like a dog on a leash, the drone movement is limited by the power cable. In case of a drone malfunction, there is no chance of a “fly away” scenario. The LIFELINE-S works seamlessly with selected DJI drones like the Phantom 4, Mavic Pro and Inspire 1 & 2.
With CAAS approval, Skyshot uses the LIFELINE with the Phantom 4 Pro to conduct aerial filming and mapping services for various projects near Changi Airport. We have done flights in Loyang, Changi East, and Pulau Tekong. We even got approval to fly at Terminal 1 this year.
With technologies like tethered drone providing safe alternatives, there is really no excuse for illegal and dangerous drone near airports. Everyone should play a part in protecting and growing the drone eco-system. Find out more about LIFELINE Tethered Drone