Southern port city to demonstrate food drone delivery services for near-shore vessels and fishing areas

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 4, 2024, 15:42 Updated : March 4, 2024, 15:42
Courtesy of Busan City
[Courtesy of Busan City]

SEOUL -- The southern port city of Busan is set to showcase drone delivery services, aiming to transport food and essential items to vessels near the shoreline and individuals at popular fishing locations. This initiative seeks to promote the use of aerial delivery systems and enhance leisure experiences by providing greater convenience.

In South Korea, where tension with North Korea persists, private drone operators face significant restrictions due to airspace regulations. Many areas, particularly in Seoul, are designated as no-fly zones, requiring permits from government entities, including the defense ministry and local authorities, for drone operations.

Despite these challenges, drones are increasingly utilized nationwide for various purposes, including mountain and sea rescues, delivering supplies to remote islands, and inspecting inaccessible structures such as tall chimneys and high-rise buildings.

To overcome regulatory hurdles and promote drone innovation, Busan has established a consortium comprising diverse companies and organizations capable of developing and showcasing drone technologies. Selected by the government for its drone demonstration program, Busan's consortium will receive subsidies totaling 500 million won ($375,516) to conduct the program until November 2024.

During the demonstration, Busan plans to facilitate the delivery of food and daily essentials to vessels near the shore and individuals in popular fishing areas. Shin Chang-ho, head of Busan's digital innovation bureau, expressed the city's commitment to standardizing marine-based drone delivery services and facilitating the global expansion of domestic companies involved in drone technology.
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