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Singapore Government Agencies look to deploy Drones

Drone technology is sure to make its significant entrance into Singapore this year as authorities will push for changes that will make it easier for government agencies to obtain drones for their operations and reduce the need for manual labour.

We previously discussed how drones have made their way into the Smart Nation vision.

As of yet, it has been revealed that public agencies are already testing more than 25 potential uses of drones. The uses include using drones to survey hard-to-reach potential mosquito-breeding sites to combat dengue, as well as to execute construction site surveys with lesser required manpower.

Now, the Ministry of Transport (MOT), which chairs the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Committee, is appointed to further simplify drone adoption for its sister government agencies.

The Ministry will call for a tender at the end of this month to invite drone vendors to bid for a master contract for drone services.

Successful contractors will then be expected to supply drones and technical expertise to agencies which may want to adopt the practice of using drones for their operations. Safety and operational standards will be spelt out in the tender.

Currently, companies are required to source for their own tender for drone vendors. This process is lengthy and time consuming.

"It facilitates and speeds up the whole process so that we can really use and deploy drones in a very effective manner," said Permanent Secretary for Transport Pang Kin Keong, who chairs the committee.

The committee is also examining how agencies can work together using drones as well as exploring ways to attempt reducing the need for manpower.

Currently, drones are being tested out in construction sites as these sites are subjected to inspection by at least seven public bodies.

With regards to the inspection, an online platform has been initiated to allow agencies to point out what they are have a care for and expect.

"From the developer's perspective as well, it is a huge gain in terms of productivity. One exercise covers all the agencies' requirements - wonderful for the agencies, wonderful for the contractor," said Mr Pang.  

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