Flying Conditions to Improve Significantly for Pangyo Drone Companies from March
- Limitations to high-difficulty tests at indoor testing grounds → Allow flight tests for different difficulty levels in nearby airspace
□ The flight conditions surrounding the Pangyo corporate support hub, which is located in a no-fly zone making drone flights difficult, are expected to improve significantly.
□ The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Minister Kim Hyun-mee, hereinafter called MOLIT) continuously held talks with the competent agencies to improve flight conditions for tenant companies of the ‘Drone Safety and Promotion Support Center (located in the Pangyo Corporate Support Hub, hereinafter called Center)’, which is a drone startup support facility.
ㅇ A work MOU was entered (Feb 18, 2019) through the center operator, the Korea Institute of Aviation Safety Technology (Director Kim Yeon-myeong) to improve flight conditions together with Seongnam City, the Air Force 15th Special Activity Wing and the Korea International Cooperation Agency*.
□ The Center is placed in the Pangyo Techno Valley (Valley 2), which is the mecca of the IT industry giving it an excellent location as it has excellent networking conditions with relevant companies including the forward and rear industries, and with other types of industries.
ㅇ However, it was set as a no-fly zone due to safety and security reasons of Seoul Airport*, therefore being restricted from freely conducting flight tests.
□ Tenant companies in the Center mainly tested flights indoors, but there were restrictions in performing high-difficulty flight tests at the indoor testing area due to ceiling height restrictions and GPS transmission errors.
ㅇ The outdoor area near the Center is located near Seoul Airport, and there were practical difficulties to receive approval for flights, thus requiring to move further out to conduct tests.
□ This MOU is significant in that it makes flight authorization easier and more fluid without affecting safety and security through the close cooperation between relevant institutes.
ㅇ In the past, there were instances of long periods needed for flight approval (3-4 days) or approvals being withdrawn due to military training, etc. after applications.
ㅇ However, it is expected that a vast airspace nearby will be available to make tests of various difficulty levels easier, thus making it possible to immediately test R&D outcomes, while establishing an environment that can advance technologies.
□ MOLIT Advanced Aviation Division Manager Oh Won-man said, “This is a good case of easing regulations while keeping balance with safety and security,” and added, “This is an opportunity for Pangyo’s drone companies to upgrade to the next level.”
ㅇ In addition, a contest will be held within the year for not only companies at the Center, but also to find other drone startups and it is scheduled to provide support on various technological and financial consulting, and it announced that it would continue its efforts to establish a drone startup ecosystem.