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Aerospace and Defense South Korea Business News

Korea Drone regulation reform

In October 2019, ROK government had selected drone industry as the area that needs regulations reform and announced roadmap in reforming regulation related to drone operation.  A total of five stages of scenarios were drawn by synthesizing development plans according to three technological variables such as flight method, transport capability, and flight area, which are considered as the most important criteria in drone policy.

  • As for flight method, depending on the development of autonomous flight, the first and second stages will be manned, and the third to fifth stage will be operated unmanned
  • The transport capability will gradually shift from the form of cargo loading to the form of human boarding and transportation
  • As for the flight areas, in order to guarantee the safety, it will start from operating in sparsely populated area and depending on the development status, the operation area will be expanded to densely populated areas

Based on above development scenarios, ROK government has identified regulatory issues by infrastructure and utilization areas.
For regulatory issues related to infrastructure, ROK government address following issues:

  • Aircraft routes and drone spaces will be established to allow drones to perform various missions such as drone taxi, courier delivery, etc. at both low and high altitudes
  • Drone traffic management system will be developed and set to establish safe drone operation environment
  • In order to defend against terrors utilizing drones, anti-drones using jamming solution will be introduced by reforming current radio wave regulation which prohibits jamming

For utilization areas, following regulatory issues were address:

  • Drone operation will be expanded into public service areas such as search and rescue, forest research, artificial rainfall, communication, maritime monitoring, and etc.
  • In order to prepare the safe environment for drone delivery, standards on drone delivery and infrastructure will be established by 2023 and actual delivery operation will start from 2025.
  • To allow drones to be operated as commercial transportation, drone transport safety standard will be prepared and new law for permitting passenger transport using the drones will be launched

For more information, contact the U.S. Commercial Service Korea at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul: Sunny Park, Commercial Specialist (