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U.S. military base in Yongsan bans civilian drones, model aircrafts

U.S. military base in Yongsan bans civilian drones, model aircrafts

Posted January. 02, 2015 09:43,   


The U.S. military stationed in South Korea has introduced stricter security rules banning all civilian drones and remote controlled model aircrafts from flying over the main military base in Yongsan in central Seoul, a South Korean military source said Thursday.

The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) issued a total ban in late December on all unmanned aerial vehicles or radio-controlled model aircrafts equipped with a camera or other types of information-gathering devices on the entire premise of the Yongsan Garrison. “The flight ban involves all computer- or radio-controlled civilian drones and toy model aircrafts, except for military drones authorized by the U.S. military,” a military source in Seoul said.

According to the source, those who own radio-controlled model aircrafts can fly only in extremely limited zones after registering them with the U.S. military for permits. Under the stricter rules, only those at age 13 or older are allowed to fly model aircrafts in authorized zones to a maximum altitude of 100 feet above ground. The USFK said violators would be “dealt sternly” in accordance with the military and civilian legal procedures.

The U.S. military is said to have adopted the stricter rules for security reasons, as civilian drones and radio-controlled model aircrafts used by individuals and social clubs have become sophisticated enough to perform surveillance or intelligence-gathering duties for military purposes. A South Korean military official said that the use of drones for terror purposes could pose serious threats to military units and troops.