Japan lifts ban on automated drone flights over residential areas

Photo credit: Zachary DeBottis

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This report on Japan Today reports that Japan has lifted a ban on automated drone flights over residential areas. The drones are needed for delivery, especially in rural areas, due to a labor shortage and an aging population.

Concerns have been expressed by many around the world about drone delivery, focusing on safety and noise, but Japanese authorities are willing to try this new delivery technology. One drone operator will be obtaining landowner permission for flyovers. I have not heard that drove delivery companies are planning to do that in the United States.

I attended the Acoustical Society of America meeting in Nashville, Tennessee in December. At a session on Methods for Community Noise Testing and Analysis, a speaker from the NASA Langley Research Center presented a paper titled “Urban air mobility community noise test planning.” At least the federal government is aware that the public is concerned about noise from drones, and will be conducting tests to assess community responses to drone noise.

If that’s all you need to know, you may stop reading here, but for anyone interested in learning more, here’s a link to the abstract for the presentation.

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