Drone Laws in South Korea

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Korea (South Korea)

South Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA)

Updated May 9, 2022


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in South Korea

The South Korean agency responsible for drone safety, KOCA, has provided several details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details, go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in South Korea?

According to the KOCA, flying drones is legal in South Korea, but certain regulations must be strictly followed. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in South Korea:

  • You are not permitted to fly higher than 150 meters (492 feet) 
  • You are not allowed to fly within 5.5 kilometers of airports or in areas where aircraft are operating. 
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only in favorable weather. 
  • When flying your drone, avoid flying over people or crowds and show respect for others’ privacy. 
  • You cannot fly when visibility is poor or when yellow dust is present. 
  • Never fly your drone beyond visual range. 
  • You are not permitted to fly near Seoul Plaza, military installations, government facilities, power plants, or areas of national security facilities.

Registration Requirements for Drone Flying in South Korea?

Any drone that weighs more than 250 grams must be registered. 

Drones weighing less than 2 kilograms, but more than 250 grams must also complete a mandatory online course. 

Operators of drones weighing between 2 and 7 kilograms must pass a written examination and have six hours of drone experience. 

For weights greater than 25 kilograms, you must have over 20 hours of flight experience in addition to passing several other tests.

Compulsory insurance

If you are required to register your drone in South Korea, you must purchase drone insurance with a minimum coverage amount of KRW 150,000,000.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in South Korea

Private drone flying is permitted in South Korea, but only under the conditions outlined below. 

Permission is not necessary. 

Maximum Height Maximum 150m / 492ft > 150m / 492ft requires permission 

There is no maximum distance, but the aircraft must always remain within the operator’s line-of-sight unless approval for a beyond-line-of-sight flight has been granted. 

There is no upper limit on take-off weight. 

Unless prior approval has been granted, operations must be conducted during the day. 

There are no labeling requirements. 

While liability insurance for drones is not required, it is strongly recommended.

Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.


Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in South Korea

Commercial drone flight is permitted in South Korea, but you must adhere to the rules outlined below. 

Permission is required from the South Korean Aviation Authority. 

Maximum Height Maximum 150m / 492ft > 150m / 492ft requires permission

There is no maximum distance, but the aircraft must always remain within the operator’s line-of-sight unless approval for a beyond-line-of-sight flight has been granted. 

There is no upper limit on take-off weight. 

Permission must be obtained from the South Korean Aviation Authority. 

Unless prior approval has been granted, operations must be conducted during the day. 

There are no labeling requirements. While liability insurance for drones is not required, it is strongly recommended.

Authorization and licensing is a complex process. Please check with the KOCA directly for specifics.


Useful published information on flying drones in South Korea

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in South Korea…

NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


Traveling with a Drone?

Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone



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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site (The latest Drone Laws/Drone Regulations) is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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10 thoughts on “Drone Laws in South Korea”

  1. Hey!

    Do you think that permission to fly drones weighing more that 250grams and less than 2kg are hard to get or it’s just formality?

    Great guide!

    Reply
  2. Can I bring my mavic mini 2 in the airport?i only drop by because i work on a ship. But don’t worry my drone is inside my luggage.its that okay to bring? thanks

    Reply
    • Mark, you should be allowed to take your drone. Declare it properly on arrival and explain what you are doing

      Reply
  3. I have a DJI mavic mini, no need to be registred, right?
    Did you have a map website or app to know where we can use our drone ?
    thank you

    Reply
    • If the DJI Mavic Mini is under 250 grams it will not need to be registered.
      We recommend you contact KOCA for information on approved areas.

      Reply
  4. i have just bought my first fpv drone named firefly baby quad 1.6 which is microdrone. it is less than 250 grams with the insta360 camera. do i have to register it and is there any limit of frequency to fly fpv.

    Reply
    • Less than 250 grams are not required to be registered. We are not aware of any FPV restrictions. We recommend contacting the regulator to be sure

      Reply

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