The city of Chiba will begin testing drone delivery of packages by 2020 after a government advisory panel designated it as a strategic special zone this week.
Drone use is currently regulated under the Civil Aeronautics Act which put new restrictions into effect on Dec 10.
However, the government panel, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, designated Chiba as a special zone for drone usage, along with Hiroshima Prefecture, Ehime Prefecture’s Imaji City, and Fukuoka Prefecture’s Kitakyushu City.
I – Word Understanding
special strategic zone – an area assigned for specific activities supported through
special arrangements, laws/regulations and systems
restrictions – limitations
II – Have Your Say
It has been said that package delivery in Japan is efficient and fast already. Are you satisfied with the current system? Please describe how the current system works.
1. Many residents in Japan live in high rise condominiums these days. How would you imagine a drone delivery be made to units like these?
2. Amazon has been conducting trials in the U.S., but questions remain about package deliveries by drones. For example, at what height will they fly and can they fly in bad weather? Also, will there be special drop-off spots?
What are your concerns about drone deliveries?
3. The Japanese government foresees a need to use drones to deliver supplies, such as food and medicines to remote areas or areas cut off by floods and landslides or other disasters. Any suggestions for other possible uses for drones?