Bill to restrict drone flights

July 2, 2015

The Japan Times reports that a new bill will place restrictions on drone flights.

The bill to amend the aviation law, stipulates that flying drones over densely populated areas and such facilities as airports should be banned unless permission from the transport minister is obtained.

The government is aiming for its enactment during the current Diet session, which has been extended through Sept. 27.

The draft bill defines unmanned aircraft as machines that fly by remote control or automated operation.  They are not currently defined.

The ministry is considering setting no-fly zones in areas with a population density of 4,000 per sq. kilometer or more.

In areas other than no-fly zones, drones can be flown between sunrise and sunset, and the drones and surrounding areas should be constantly monitored visually during the flights.

The bill would also ban the flying of drones over sites for events such as festivals and exhibitions, and other places where many people gather.

The draft calls for imposing a fine of up to ¥500,000 on people who fly drones in no-fly zones without permission and fail to follow the flight rules.