Drones to be grounded in Tokyo

Editor’s note: It is not clear from the article what types of drone aircraft this would apply to, specifically whether it would apply to the smaller toy-like drones that are increasingly becoming popular.

The Asahi Shinbun reported on July 15, 2015 that Prime Minister Abe’s Cabinet approved a draft revision to the Aviation Law on July 14 under which operators would be banned from flying drones in Tokyo’s 23 wards as well as the central part of each prefectural capital.

Operators will also be prohibited from flying drones at night or under conditions in which they cannot directly see the drone in flight.

The transport ministry plans to designate regions with a population of 4,000 or more per square kilometer as no-fly zones. Violators would face a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,051).

The government is looking to pass the revision during the current Diet session.

Once it becomes law, drone operators will need to apply to airport offices and other related authorities for permission to fly unmanned craft over densely populated areas or around airports.

Local governments are also working on measures to restrict drones.