Drone use and abuse climb in skies over Seoul

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Drone use and abuse climb in skies over Seoul

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is toughening regulations on the use of drones in the capital, which is growing rapidly.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters on Sunday, the number of registered drones in the country jumped to 423 as of March, from 144 in 2010. Additionally, 726 people are now licensed to fly drones, up from 64 last year. The number of cases of violations of rules concerning drone flights is also on the rise, 49 last year compared to six in 2010.

The current regulations name four drone-permitted areas: the northern end of Gayang Bridge, Sinjeong Bridge, Byeollae IC and Gwangnaru. Any drone flights outside of those areas need to be reported three days in advance. Drone flights at night are prohibited.

The city government advises firefighting helicopters to fly 213 meters (700 feet) in altitude in drone-permitted areas. It is also planning to suggest the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport establish an online drone flight reporting system.

BY PARK MIN-JE [kim.bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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