Land minister says flying taxi laws are in the works

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Land minister says flying taxi laws are in the works

Land Minister Won Hee-ryong, center, takes a look at drones at the 2022 Korea Drone and UAM Expo held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul on Friday. [MINISTRY OF LAND, INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT]

Land Minister Won Hee-ryong, center, takes a look at drones at the 2022 Korea Drone and UAM Expo held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul on Friday. [MINISTRY OF LAND, INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT]

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will come up with flying taxi laws by the end of August in an effort to start the service by 2025.
 
This was just one of the ambitious plans land minister Won Hee-ryong revealed during the UAM (urban air mobility) Team Korea Strategy Forum held in Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul. 
 
“We are in the process of making laws related to UAM, and plan to turn them in to National Assembly by the end of August,” Won said. “Regulation breaks are always necessary for the new technology to grow, and we definitely will apply them to the laws.”
 
The forum was held with a few private companies that are members of UAM Team Korea including SK Telecom, Kakao Mobility and Hanwha Systems. UAM Team Korea was established two years ago by the land ministry to cooperate on the research and development of flying taxis. A total of 47 companies and institutions have joined the team so far.
 
Won particularly emphasized the importance of safety, adding that the commercialization of flying taxis cannot be realized with 100 percent confidence in safety.
 
“In order for the UAM to become a means of mobility for Koreans, three factors should be prepared, safety and convenience and economic feasibility,” Won said. “If the safety cannot be guaranteed 100 percent, we cannot take even one step.”
 
“Taxis won’t fly if they are not safe.”
 
Won also promised that he will “spare no support and investment for the growth of UAM industry in Korea.”
Visitors take a look at Korean Air Lines' booth at the 2022 Korea Drone & UAM Expo, on Friday. [SARAH CHEA]

Visitors take a look at Korean Air Lines' booth at the 2022 Korea Drone & UAM Expo, on Friday. [SARAH CHEA]

  
The forum came in line with the third Korea Drone and UAM Expo 2022, which opened its doors to the public Friday.
 
At the event, a total of 102 companies set up independent booths to display different types of drones and technology for flying taxis.
 
Various sports games have been organized for visitors to watch, including a drone race and a drone soccer championship. A total of 70 players from nine countries including Korea, the United States and Singapore are participating in the tournament race.
 
The 2022 Korea Drone and UAM Expo runs through Saturday at the Gocheok Sky Dome. It is hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and co-organized by LX, Korea Transportation Safety Authority and Korea Industrial Safety Technology.

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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