🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all known drone rules links & laws about recreational & commercial drone use in South Korea (Seoul). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our knowledge & does not replace official sources & your research.
Recreational vs commercial drone use in South Korea
South Korea differentiates commercial & recreational drone use - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. Both are subject to restrictions based on the weight of your drone & a code of conduct.
✅ In South Korea, the regulation and control of drone use falls under the Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA) which reports to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. They can be contacted:
Online: via this link
Can I travel with my drone to South Korea?
✅ Good news is that currently there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones into South Korea as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in South Korea?
✅ South Korea built official maps showing forbidden & restricted zones (red & green). As you will see within the restricted zones, you should avoid main cities, and the border with North Korea. On top of the forbidden zones, you will need to considered the restricted ones highlighted in green on a seperate map available here.
✅ Find these 2 local apps that will help you once onsite
🚨 You should not fly above or near military installations & strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country. Do not fly in urban places Seoul (Dronestarting spotted a few places where you can but most of the city is a no fly zone).
🦅 National parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.
Recreational Drone use in South Korea
✅ Good things first, you will not need a permit or a license to fly a drone in South Korea as long as you fly a drone weighting less than 12 kg & do not fly in a restricted/forbidden zone.
Saying this, within the permitted zones, you will need to follow a few rules:
fly at a maximum altitude of 150 m
fly a drone weighting less than 12 kg (you will need to register it if heavier).
fly 9.3 km away from airports, heliports & give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see an aircraft during your flight, land immediately.
It is advised to subscribe for an insurance
fly away from, vehicles, large crowds, people & respect individuals' privacy.
do not carry anything or drop any object with your drone.
ask before flying any governmental, religious or military sites.
What do I risk for flying a drone for recreational use illegally in South Korea?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction. However the Korean authorities specified that your fine could increase depending on how many times they catch you:
1st time = a fine up to 160€
2nd time = a fine up to 800€
3rd time = a fine up to 1,600€
Commercial Drone use in South Korea
✅ To operate a drone business in South Korea, you will need to be registered & have a insurance for your activities. This insurance should cover you for about 120,000€ for personal injury & 16,000€ for damage to property.
How to register my drone in South Korea?
✅ To register your drone, simply go onto https://www.onestop.go.kr & submit your application.
🌏 If you are a foreigner & do not speak Korean, you might be better off to contact a local agency to help you register. From our research, it seemed that shimkim.co.kr could help you out & make things a little easier for you.
What do I risk for flying a drone for commercial use illegally in South Korea?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such.
Keeping common sense rules in mind, what are you waiting for?! Start flying above South Korea's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in South Korea! Have fun & safe flight!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.
onestop.go.kr (to register your drone)