Any discussion of drone innovation and success has to include South Korea. With strong government support and an engaged commercial sector, the country has seen widespread advances in the adoption of uncrewed technology.
Last year, Commercial UAV News reported that South Korea’s domestic drone market grew by more than seven times, from $56M in 2016 to $398M in 2020. In the country, drones are being used for transporting goods, surveillance, facility safety diagnosis, marine management, agricultural support, and more. Central to the success of uncrewed systems in South Korea is the 2019 “Act for Promoting Drone Usage,” an initiative that encourages investment, the establishment of policy tools, and research into the development of viable drone commercial applications.
To learn more about what’s happening in the South Korean drone sector, industry professionals are strongly encouraged to stop by the Korea Pavilion at the upcoming Commercial UAV Expo. Representatives from government agencies and UAV companies will be on hand to explain how they are pushing uncrewed technology forward and creating new products and services.
Here’s a look at some of the groups and companies you’ll find at the Korea Pavilion:
Korea Institute of Aviation Safety Technology (KIAST) / Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT)
KIAST is responsible for testing and certifying the safety and performance of aircraft, airports, air navigation facilities, and more. The group is engaged in the establishment of a UAM certification system. Working with KIAST is the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT). In 2025, MOLIT will pilot an Urban Aviation Mobility (UAM) initiative with a goal to begin Level 4 autonomous driving in 2027.
SISTECH uses drones and imaging systems for building high-precision 3D modeling data for urban areas, farms, coastal areas, and more. The company is also engaged in developing vertical take-off and landing technology and high-precision level position technology.
Pablo Air specializes in drone delivery solutions and UAM integrated control services. With the goal of bringing about innovation in the fields of defense technology, drone art show, and logistics delivery, Pablo Air accelerated the commercialization of drone delivery by opening the first convenience store drone delivery center in Korea.
Working with leading companies in the US, Hungary, Germany, and beyond, STAR KHAN’s product line includes GPS and high-precision devices.
Korea Drone Soccer Association (KDSA)
Established in 2017, KDSA currently consists of 22 branches and more than 300 teams. The group works to promote drone soccer competitions in Korea and around the world.
Quaternion develops safety systems for commercial drones. The company’s products include flight control systems, payload solutions, tethered drones and stations.
Synerex focuses on high-precision positioning systems. The company supplies receivers and related solutions for MBC's Broadcast RTK service that enables centimeter-class ultra-precision location information services.
The first spin-off company of Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Narma aims to develop world standard delivery drones and service platforms.