SEOUL, Jul. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean government has announced plans to invest 1.2 trillion won in the country’s drone industry over the next five years, funds that will be used to help develop drone technology and build infrastructure such as drone highways and test sites, in an effort keep up with other competing countries.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MOLIT) is set to release a white paper at a public hearing scheduled to take place on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), laying out plans in detail to improve the overall drone infrastructure and industry in South Korea by 2026, according to MOLIT officials.
Government efforts to focus on the drone industry come following industry reports suggesting that the market will grow 50 percent annually and carry water for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, reaching around 70 trillion won ($620 billion) by 2025, with the likes of the U.S. and China already on the move to get ahead in the competition.
According to the goals set out by the government, the new investment is expected to boost the country’s current drone market, which is estimated to be around 70 billion won, to 4.1 trillion won in 10 years, producing over 60,000 industrial drones.
With the newly assigned budget of 1.2 trillion won, research and development projects for drones in various fields including agriculture, energy and telecommunication will take place, placing the main focus on high-priced unmanned aerial vehicles for industrial purposes rather than those used in leisure activities.
As South Korea is poised to develop its own unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM) system, drone highways will be introduced, officially designating the altitude of 300 meters above ground-level as an aerial lane for drones to fly below lightweight aircrafts so as to avoid accidents.
Other safety measures include a drone registration system, piloting licenses, and insurance programs.
According to the MOLIT, around 164,000 jobs are expected to be created over the next eight years in the drone industry, with the production inducement predicted to be around 20.7 trillion won.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)