UATO which stands for Unmanned Aircraft Training and Assessment Organisation. CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) initially started certifying first UATOs at around July 2021, and there after certifying more UATOs. The main objective of UATO is to provide formal and structured training and assessment for users who wish to operate their Unmanned Aircraft (UA) under conditions below that require them to be a UA Pilot Licence (UAPL) holder:
• For commercial purpose, or for a purpose that is neither recreational nor educational, regardless of the UA weight; or
• For either recreational or educational purpose and with a UA of total weight exceeding 7kg.
In Singapore, users who wish to obtain UAPL must undergo practical assessment with approved UATOs after passing theory test administered at the Singapore Aviation Academy. There are several approved UATOs which listed by CAAS in their website.
UATO will provide courses which typically includes theory learning and practical training sessions according to the approved syllabus in preparation for candidate to obtain the UAPL. The scope of approval of UATOs may be different. In most cases, the UATOs are only approved to conduct for UAPL Class A in Rotorcraft category. This is also a testament to the strong market demand for use of UA certified under the Rotorcraft category. The other categories are Aeroplane, Powerlift and Airship.
UATOs will use different models of unmanned aircraft with different mass ranging at least 1.5kg but not exceeding 25kg to allow trainees to have an appreciation in the difference in flying and handling characteristics for Class A UAPL. UATOs will provide appropriate and sufficient equipment during training to ensure theory and practical training conducted meets all set standards and is appropriate to the size and scope of the intended operations.
UATO is focusing on providing the fundamental learning platform for user to learn operating unmanned aircraft safely only. As UA is attached to the fast and everchanging Aviation industry, it is within the interest of the UATO to provide more courses to cater the demands of the industry to ensure continued safe UA operations within Singapore.