Developer Upset Over Drone Intrusion

The operation of drones in Singapore is in the limelight after an alleged incident involving one flying into the building site of a recently established condominium in Redhill, raising protection issues and serious safety.

A source with knowledge of the problem told PropertyGuru that the drone flew into the website after a buyer requested to see what the view would be like from the future flat and allegedly got cold feet.

The project’s developer is taking the issue seriously, which might lead to the property bureau involved being fired and is understood to know about the event. When contacted, a representative for the developer would neither affirm nor deny if the event happened.

In Singapore, using drones to shoot aerial photos is a normal practice among developers using it as a promotion tool to help sell units on higher floors offering panoramic views of the sea or city skyline.

This latest episode is considered to be the first in Singapore linked to a condominium, and comes after laws on using drones here took effect in June 2015.

Between May 2015 and April 2014, there were 20 episodes including drones, said then-Transportation Minister Lui Tuck Yew in Parliament. These comprised drones dropping onto MRT courses in two different cases in 2015.

Present regulations concerning using unmanned aircraft, including drones, fall under the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). Their web site lists down strict standards for operators including flying drones a safe space away from property and individuals.

Despite the safety features in some unmanned aircraft, mechanical malfunction, human error could happen and cause operators to lose control of their aircraft in flight or loss of management link,” the CAAS said.

“This may bring about the unmanned aircraft colliding with a manned aircraft or another unmanned aircraft, or hitting against individuals and property on the earth, possibly causing damage and harm.”

Gregory Vijayendran, Associate, Commercial Litigation at law firm Rajah & Tann, described that licenses must run drones in the promotion of property, like for company functions.

“Civil claims under private law would clearly contain the tort of trespass to property.

The property agency that used as “the bureau could be responsible for the representative’s action of neglect, nuisance or trespass ” the broker could also land itself in hot soup, noted Vijayendran.

He added that more can be done to prepare drone operators here. “Singaporeans must realise that laws besides gravitation can sink the use of drones. The possible invasive and intrusive nature of drones have to be correctly handled by operators to prevent civil accountability and criminal responsibility.”

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