Drone Laws in South Korea

Flying drones in South KoreaThis post is about the drone laws in South Korea.

The South Korean government is reasonably open to drone technology. Nevertheless, there are some rules to consider.

Maximum altitude: The maximum height for drones is 150 meters above ground.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: In Korea, you need to be able to see your drone and its attitude always with the naked eye.

Compulsory insurance: If you have to register your drone in South Korea, then you need drone insurance with a minimum cover of KRW 150,000,000.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): From a take-off mass of more than 12 kilograms is a permit for

Distance to airports: At airports, a distance of 9 kilometers must be taken into account.

Other safety distances: No drone may be flown over crowds.

No-flight zones: In Seoul, there is a ban on drones. However, there are specially designed parks for copter pilots. No-fly zones can be checked using the “Ready to Fly” app.

Hours of Operation: After sunset and before sunrise, drone flights are not allowed in Korea.

Requirements for commercial pilots: If you want to fly a commercial drone in South Korea, you need to register with the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport. As far as I understand, the obligation to register exists only for commissioned work. If you make recordings for your own company, then you probably do not need registration.

Helpful Links: Shin & Kim

We have researched the listed drone regulations for South Korea to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in South Korea!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Robert | 02.05.2018

    Seoul is basically a no-fly zone. Between, Gimpo airport, the Blue House, the military base, and embassies, the whole city is restricted.

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Good to know – thank you!

  • Rey | 27.11.2018

    Thanks for sharing this article on drone rules in South Korea! I have a job coming up there soon and was looking around for more information.

    From where I come from (Singapore) the rules are very strict as well and without a permit we cannot fly above 200 feet to take any aerial photos or videos.

    Rey (www.aerialphotography.sg)

  • Jacob Santiago | 24.01.2019

    Can you fly drone on nami island where the trees are located?

  • soffuan | 06.03.2019

    Jeju island no issurle right for dji spark? k want to handcarry on flight

  • Otto Hauser | 11.05.2019

    Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but sitting next to Pyoseon beach on Jeju with families paddling, having picnics and enjoying the weather it was quite disturbing to be buzzed by a drone only 10 meters above our heads. It totally spoilt my time there. Am I being narrow-minded? Or should there be some restrictions about flying near people. The size of a “crowd” is open to personal interpretation.

  • najmi | 30.12.2019

    can fly at namie island?

  • Jason Teale | 19.09.2020

    The basic thing with Korea is that you have to be aware of your surroundings. Touristy areas like Jeju or Nami Island may have put up special restrictions because of too many people flying drones above the crowds. Seoul is basically a no fly zone as are many of the larger cities due to the proximity to airports, military bases, hospitals, etc. However, if you use your head, you can have a decent time flying here.

  • Jason Teale | 19.09.2020

    For those asking, Nami Island is a no fly zone. https://namisum.com/en/events/nami_1801/

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