While many American drone operators are still unclear about the precise rules and regulations for the operation of unmanned flying machines, the authorities in Japan on Thursday introduced strict nationwide laws that will come as a big disappointment to many drone hobbyists in the country.
The new set of rules are designed to improve safety as the remotely controlled machines grow rapidly in popularity. It means unmanned aircraft weighing more than 200 grams can no longer be flown in designated built-up areas, a law that overnight brings an end to all drone flights over Tokyo’s 23 wards, the Japan Times reported.
Changes to the country’s Civil Aeronautics Law also bans flights close to airports and at large gatherings like festivals or sports events. Meanwhile, flights in unrestricted areas across the country are required to stay below 150 meters (492 feet), and also be kept at least 30 meters (98 feet) from people, buildings, and vehicles.
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