License to be required for high-spec drones


The government plans to require a license for operating high-specification drones that can travel at least 5 km, informed sources said Monday.

Following the discovery of a suspicious drone on the roof of the prime minister’s office last month, the government will discuss drone regulations, including the license requirement, at a meeting of related agencies Tuesday.

By using the license system, the government aims to make it easier to identify drone operators and prevent drone-related accidents, the sources said.

Because high-performance drones emit strong radio waves, the government hopes to oblige operators to acquire a special license mainly for taxi radios, the sources said.

Still, the necessity of the regulatory step is uncertain, because many drones on the market do not have such a long range and therefore will not be subject to the new rule.

Separately, the government is considering introducing a system to register the names and addresses of people who purchase a drone.

The government is also looking at prohibiting drone flights over important facilities such as the prime minister’s office and the Diet.

Currently, there are no rules restricting the flying of drones at altitudes below 250 meters, except in certain areas such as near airports.