Wondering whether you can fly a drone in Seoul?
Seoul is one of the most unique cities in the world, as is South Korea one of the most unique countries in the world.
Capturing Seoul through a camera can create some amazing images, photographs, videos, and the whole lot.
However, many people wonder “Can you fly a drone in Seoul?”
So we asked Josh from A Backpacker’s World to give us a complete overview of flying a drone in the South Korean capital.
So, can you fly a drone in Seoul?
South Korea are the leading favourite in international drone sports, so you would expect that drone flying is a huge deal here. Sadly, it isn’t the news we want.
In one sentence, flying a drone in South Korea is allowed, but flying a drone in Seoul is not.
Unfortunately, most of Seoul is considered prohibited airspace, meaning it is illegal to fly a drone here. This is sad news for drone owners, as it would have been an amazing opportunity to capture Seoul on a drone.
Rest assured, you can still fly your drone in other parts of South Korea, as long as you comply with the rules and regulations which we will go over later. It can make for some great footage, take a look for yourself…
Getting your drone into South Korea
Thankfully, there are no requirements or regulations required to get your drone into South Korea. This makes life a bit easier for flying a drone here.
Other countries require a drone to get pre-approval to get through customs and other various ways of making it difficult to get a drone into the said country, luckily, South Korea has made it easy for us drone owners.
That being said, please be aware of your airline’s policies about travelling with a drone. They often have strict rules, and you should check these before flying with your drone.
Do you need a license to fly your drone in South Korea?
Registration of drones weighing more than 250 grams (about half a pound) is required. So if your drone weighs less than this, registration is not required.
For drones that must be registered, you can register with the KOCA (South Korea Office of Civil Aviation) by clicking here.
If your drone is heavier than 250 grams, you must also complete an online course about drone flying. You can find this by clicking here.
It’s fairly straightforward, but if you are only in South Korea for a short period of time, it may be worth just bringing a drone that weighs less than 250 grams to avoid registration and completing training.
On top of this, drones being flown for commercial purposes must apply for permission from the KOCA.
If you are flying for recreational reasons, you do not need to apply for permission, and you are free to fly, provided you follow the rules and only fly where it is allowed.
Rules for flying a drone in South Korea
As always with flying a drone, there are rules which you must follow when flying a drone in South Korea.
For the most part, they are pretty lenient compared to some other places like Dubai which is extremely strict.
The most important rules which you should be familiar with are:
- You must not fly over 150 metres (just under 500 feet)
- You can only fly in the daytime and in appropriate weather conditions
- You must keep a direct line of sight
- Do not fly over crowds, and respect people’s privacy
That’s pretty much it. On top of the obvious do not fly near airports, military bases, prisons etc. Avoid all areas of sensitivity.
It’s also highly recommended to have drone insurance when flying a drone in South Korea. It’s not a legal requirement but the KOCA highly recommend it.
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Photo opportunities in Seoul
As it’s not allowed to capture Seoul on a drone, you may be interested in the best places to take photos in Seoul.
Here are our top 3! They make for some excellent pictures which always come out really well!
1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Located in northern Seoul, this palace is number one on our list. Asia is home to so many palaces and temples which photograph so well. Seoul is no different, just take a look at the beauty of this…
2. In the heart of Seoul
If you walk down any streets in the centre of Seoul, particularly those with places for food, you are guaranteed to get a good picture. It’s cyberpunk in real life, it’s like something from the future, and the photos look great!
3. Statue of Gangnam Style
One of the most unique photos you can get in Seoul is a photo of the Gangnam Style Statue.
It’s exactly what you imagine. There’s truly nothing else like it in Seoul, maybe even the world.
It’s so random, yet so unique, and PSY is a huge celebrity in Seoul after all, regardless, it’s definitely worth taking a photo of!
Can you fly a drone in Seoul: Wrap Up
Hopefully our guide to “Can you fly a drone in Seoul” has been helpful, even though it likely brought news that wasn’t wanted.
Make sure to take advantage of our photo opportunities- they are a great way to capture Seoul, without the use of a drone.
And make sure to capture the rest of South Korea with a drone, the footage is outstanding and is a great way to see this amazing country.
So get out there and start snapping South Korea, from your camera’s lens and your drone’s!
This post was written by Josh Band from A Backpacker’s World. Josh loves to write about South East Asia and other popular backpacking routes around the world. Who doesn’t love budget travelling, right?!