Changi Airport Closes Runway Over Drone Sighting

With heightened security measures set in place to address potential threats to safety in Singapore, public and private entities have since become keen in dealing with any unprecedented incidents that may pose any risk of this nature.

And where else would security be considered tightest than in public areas such as airports, where foot traffic is high at any given time or date? This being the case, authorities were quick to respond when an eventuality which posed a risk to the safety and security of the facility was noted.

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Drone Sightings at Changi Airport Prompt Runway Closure

At this event, a runway at Singapore’s Changi Airport was shut down recurrently over a span of 10 hours after an unauthorised drone was spotted in the vicinity, leading to several flight delays and one diversion, as shared in a report by Channel News Asia.

As a result, a total of 38 flights were affected after one of the airport’s runways was closed, according to a statement from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday (Jun 19).

Operations at the affected runway were suspended for “short periods of time” from 11pm on June 18 to 9am local time the next day as per the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday, after confirming the drone sightings. Meanwhile, the operator of the unmanned aircraft has yet to be identified.

The CAAS shared that investigations into the breach are still on-going in collaboration with other relevant government agencies, including the Singapore Armed Forces and Singapore Police Force.

As per Singapore laws, “drones or unmanned aircraft systems in Singapore are not allowed within 5km of any airport or military airbase and must fly lower than 200 feet. They also must not weigh heavier than 7kg. Drone operators that wish to fly their aircraft outside these regulations can apply for permits to do so from the CAAS.”

Following up on the incident, the CAAS announced that it would not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who violated the law, noting that offenders could face fines of up to SGD 20,000 or jail terms of up to a year, or both.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min shared, “We will continue to monitor developments globally and collaborate with foreign counterparts and industry partners to study and implement additional measures when required.” The minister then added that the CAAS was working on plans to develop a system to monitor drones in Singapore.