Stomper spots drone at Gardens by the Bay: Is it allowed?

Submitted by Stomper Tom

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A drone was spotted at Gardens by the Bay on April 14 around 3pm and a Stomper questions whether it was allowed.

According to the Gardens by the Bay website, the use of remote-controlled aerial cameras including drones and other similar devices are not allowed at Bay Central, Bay East and Bay South gardens.

Stomper Tom shared photos taken at Bay Central showing a drone on the ground and a man in a green safety vest checking on it.

The Stomper said there were two drone operators, who had only a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore but not Gardens by the Bay.

He also shared a photo of a sign that read: "PUB, Singapore's national water agency and ST Engineering are operating drone flights for reservoir monitoring at various time intervals."

PUB has been deploying Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones to conduct monitoring at Singapore reservoirs since 2021.

One of the reservoirs is the Marina Reservoir created by the Marina Barrage near Gardens by the Bay.

The water agency awarded a contract to ST Engineering to utilise its proprietary drone operating system, which was been customised to meet PUB's requirements.

The drone is housed in an automated pod, capable of taking off and landing autonomously. It has pre-programmed flight paths within the marina and is monitored remotely by an operator.

The drone is programmed to carry out the following tasks:

  • Monitoring water quality
  • Monitoring aquatic plant growth
  • Monitoring water activities such as kayaking and fishing