Japan Lifts Ban on Urban Drone Flights outside Visible Range

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's revised civil aeronautics law came into force Monday, lifting a ban on drone flights beyond pilots' visible range above urban districts.

Such drone flights will be permitted if the transport ministry gives approval in advance under a new system allowing qualified operators to fly drones that meet safety standards.

The removal of the ban is expected to give a tailwind to the commercialization of services using drones, such as for delivery in urban areas and shopping support in depopulated regions.

According to the ministry, actual urban-area drone flights beyond the visual line of sight are likely to begin next March or later as it takes time to certify drones and qualify pilots.

This time, the government removed the ban on Level 4 drone flights, the highest level of the country's four-tier drone flight operation scale.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press