Everything you've always wanted to know about flying drones in Singapore

Joel Chia a.k.a Idroneman clears the air on some common misconceptions about drone flying

Let’s face it - drones are cool. Buzzing all over the place, snapping amazing images, recording stunning video, what’s not to like?

Except, aren’t they crazy difficult to fly, don’t they cost a small fortune and surely we’re not allowed to fly them anywhere in Singapore anyway are we? They might sound like slightly stupid questions you’d be afraid to ask in the shop, but you still want to know the answers.

Never fear, we saved you the embarrassment and asked Chia Joel, a.k.a Idronemanthe man behind a series of stunning high-flying images of our city, for you.


Are all drones expensive?

The drone market has boomed over the years, and there are now various types of drones costing from as low as a few bucks to thousands of dollars depending on the purpose of getting one. You have the more well-known companies like Parrot and DJI which have been innovating drones for a while now.

A drone from Parrot can set you back anything from a couple of hundred dollars, whereas for DJI, the cheapest lowest entry model retails at about S$700 to S$800. If you do look hard enough, some cheaper China-made drones can be bought for less than a hundred!

Are drones really easy to fly? Do people need special training to fly one?

Well, it’s tough answering this question because drones from different companies can be totally different. Their operating systems, design and function vary from racing drones to those that have their own in built cameras.

However, I personally use and trust DJI. DJI’s operating system is easy to use, and you don’t need special training to fly one. Instead, it’s more a case of spending time just playing around with it in an open setting. Once you get the idea of how the drone operates, flying it is actually quite easy.

But aren’t they easy to crash?

I would say the cheaper drones on the market, those without GPS-satellite systems are harder to control and hover in place. They really rely on the pilot’s instinct to manage both the wind and position of the drone in the air so they have a higher tendency of crashing.

However, if your drone has a reliable GPS-satellite system, crashes are actually few and far between.