SINGAPORE: The public may soon be able to fly kites or small model airplanes near the airport or airbase.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said it is looking at relaxing the rules to allow such activities, which are getting popular in Singapore.
It is seeking views from the public on the changes.
Currently, activities such as kite—flying, aero—modelling and hoisting of captive balloons for commercial purposes are not allowed within five kilometres from an airport or airbase.
Beyond the five—kilometre radius, these activities are allowed, but the public must observe a height limit of 200 feet, which is about 12 storeys high.
Under the Air Navigation Order, these restrictions are in place to maintain a safe operating environment for aircraft operations.
Kites and model airplanes can pose danger to pilots who are engaged in the critical phase of flight, such as when the plane is taking off or landing.
The objects could also cause damage to aircraft engines and endanger lives.
CAAS said there is potential to liberalise the current restrictions on height and permitted areas for the conduct of specific types of aerial activities, while maintaining high international aviation safety standards.
That’s because with advancements in aircraft technology, air navigation systems on the modern aircraft have greatly improved.
It added that the review will allow the authorities to explore a new balance between aviation safety and the desires for other aerial activities
"This review on the conduct of aerial activities is timely. There has been increasing public demand for more space to conduct aerial activities in Singapore. With the advancements in aircraft technology, air navigation systems on the modern aircraft have greatly improved, enabling the creation of more space for such activities where possible. While the safety of flight operations in Singapore remains paramount, this review will allow CAAS to explore a new balance between aviation safety and the desires for other aerial activities," said assistant director—general of CAAS Soh Poh Theen.
Some are hoping the review will also be a chance to raise awareness about kite safety.
Gadis Widiyati, a member of the Singapore Kite Association, said: "(I hope there is) more (clarity) about the rules. The announcement about this should be spread out because the numbers of (people) flying kites has increased. (It is) also one of the outdoor activities for family so there’s a need for these rules to be very clear to them."
Gadis recommends putting up signboards in parks and open fields about kite—flying — whether the activity is permitted or not, why, and basic rules about flying.
Layangman Online Kiteshop owner Patrick Tan, said: "(Those who fly kites) should be very responsible. They should not fly (their kites) across the road. The kites should not be flown overhead and across the road because if the wind changes direction or there is a lack of wind, they may not have enough time to retrieve the long line. It will be disastrous if the line falls across the road."
Another suggestion is to specify safety issues for different types of kites.
The public can give their feedback via the
The consultation closes on July 12.
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