Japan on Monday lifted its ban on urban drone flights outside visible range over residential areas to allow aerial parcel deliveries and help address the country's labor shortages amid the graying of the population across the country, particularly in rural areas.

Unattended drone flights were previously only allowed over uninhabited areas, such as mountains, rivers and farmlands in so-called level 3 operations under the four-tier classification system.

Level 4 automated drone operations over residential areas will likely begin once operators seeking to provide such services complete government procedures necessary for conducting such flights around March.