Singapore public agencies putting drones on trial

SINGAPORE — Expect to see more drones in Singapore’s skies soon.

Public sector agencies on the island state are planning to deploy Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to help them improve their operations.

To date, more than 25 potential uses of drones are undergoing trials, TODAY reported, citing a statement from the Transport Ministry released on Thursday. These trials are being facilitated by the inter-agency Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Committee, which is led by the Transport Ministry.

One such trial by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore involves the use of drones controlled from patrol boats for missions like search-and-rescue operations. The drone, named Water Spider, is expected to be operational from the second quarter of this year and is expected to complement helicopter flights and satellite images.

Meanwhile, the National Environment Agency is planning to use drones to improve its dengue control programme.

The NEA has been conducting trials on the use of drones for the surveillance of roof gutters in the last 12 months. The trials have shown that drones can access high places and provide good visuals of problematic areas.

The NEA also plans to expand trials to test out a drone that will be able to deposit larvicide, which kills mosquito larvae, into roof gutters. This trial is expected to end in the second quarter of this year.

An inter-agency proof-of-concept trial for the deployment of UAS at construction sites involves public sector agencies such as the Manpower Ministry, the NEA, the Singapore Land Authority and the Land Transport Authority.


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