TETHERED DRONE FILMING
Skyshot, along with our aerospace engineering partner, Flare Dynamics, developed the LIFELINE Tethered Drone system that allows us to operate in these drone "No-Fly" zones. Powered only by a ground battery system with no onboard batteries in the drone allowed, there is virtually no chance for the drone to malfunction and "fly away" remotely. The drone flight height is limited by the tether length of 50 meters, well suited for low high-air traffic areas. It is certified by the CAAS for use in Singapore.
READ ARTICLE I LIFELINE WEBSITE
LIFELINE Tethered Drone
2.5 hours of flight time
DJI Phantom 4 V2
Portable ground battery unit
Filming in Restricted Airspace
Singapore has very strict drone "No-Fly" zones around Seletar and Changi Airport. Very often, this restriction extends to the 3 military airbases as well. This area of restriction covers around 50% of Singapore's airspace. However, CAAS can allow the use of tethered drones in these restricted areas. We have done many filming projects near Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, and Pulau Tekong, with our Lifeline Tethered Drone system.
Skyshot has an operator's permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. We ensure that all our flights are approved by CAAS & other relevant authorities
Certified UAV Pilots
Skyshot's UAV pilots are certified by CAAS and they have many years of experience in drone aviation.
With the tethered drone, we have filmed TV documentaries, new condominium launches, and commercial projects in Pasir Ris, Loyang & Tampines. These areas are out of bounds for conventional drones.
Some of our customers are using the Lifeline Tethered Drone for building inspections, and other industrial-related works. Lifeline's long battery life provides the users with more operating time, compared to conventional drones.
Skyshot conducts monthly construction filming updates for a number of projects near Changi Airport. This includes the Changi Airport East development, road upgrading in Pasir Ris, and reclamation works in Pulau Tekong.
The tethered drone allowed us to film live events like the National Day Parade Rehearsal at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium. The 2.5 hours of battery life means less downtime and longer coverage.
The Lifeline Tethered Drone is used regularly by the Changi Airport Group for runway & aviation inspections. It has also been used for aircraft crash site testing and mapping.
Lifeline Tethered Drone is used overseas for defense purposes. It is currently also used in Australia for coastal search & rescue efforts and shark watch.
What are the permits you need to fly in Singapore?
1. Operator’s Permit – An annual permit that CAAS issues to companies that are qualified to be UAV operators. Skyshot was one of the first companies in Singapore to be issued an operator permit.
2. Activity Permit - Issued by CAAS for any commercial drone activities. Skyshot will make the necessary arrangements to obtain this when an aerial project is confirmed. The permit will have information including flight window, location, and height restrictions.
3. Location Filming Permit - Depending on the location of the launch site, a general filming permit may be needed. For example, a filming permit from NParks may be required for filming in parks in Singapore. This is sometimes obtained by the clients themselves.
What if the UAV activity permit is not approved, do I get charged?
We have a lot of experience with CAAS activity permit applications. This is because we have done many drone flights across different parts of Singapore. So before we take on a project, we will advice our clients if the proposed flight location may be approved by CAAS. Skyshot charge $250 for the UAV activity permit application. This is to cover for the cost of the application fees that CAAS charge, irregardless of the final approval.
Is the UAV activity permit difficult to get?
Skyshot has done aerial drone filming in most parts of Singapore, so we are very familiar with the CAAS drone regulations and restrictions. The CAAS activity permit approval depends on the filming location, flight path and the timing. For CAAS to approve the flight, there are several other government agencies involved;
1. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) – regarding sensitive locations like Istana, Parliament House, SAF camps, etc. - The specific locations are published in the Government Gazette and on the OneMap portal.
2. Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) – regarding military aerial activities
3. Maritime Port Authorities (MPA) – for flights over the waters of Singapore.
4. IMDA – regarding the usage of radio frequencies and power limits for drone flight controllers. Other agencies, like NParks & LTA may be involved as well. It usually takes CAAS 1 to 2 weeks to issue the permit. CAAS is very helpful and pro-active in the application process but it will take them 1 to 2 weeks to approve the application.
Why does the Lifeline need 2 person to operate?
Cable management can be an issue when the tethered drone is flying at height. Thus we need an assistant to manage the cables to prevent entanglement.
How high & far can you fly?
Depending on the proximity to the airport runway and flight path, CAAS restricts the drone operating height to around 30 to 40 meters. Even though our tether cable is set to a maximum length of 50 meters, we will abide by the height limitations for the permit. The horizontal movement is limited as well because of the cable. The tethered drone cannot fly freely like a conventional drone.
What happens if it rains on the day of shoot?
We try our best apply for at least a 3-day UAV activity permit, to cater for alternative flight dates in case of inclement weather. The 3-day flight windows giving us flexibility for planning and execution.
Can I fly a drone for a public event?
Skyshot has done aerial filming for events like the DBS Regatta and OCBC Cycle. For safety reasons, CAAS does not allow drone flights directly above public walking spaces. Careful planning of the flight path is thus required to prevent any danger to the public. Here is an example of an aerial video for a public event.