Japan Post waiting for OK for 'level 4' drone flight

Japan Post is waiting for government approval to make its first long-range drone flight later this month.

The company hopes the devices will eventually carry packages to customers in mountainous areas and other places that are hard to reach for land vehicles.

Officials on Monday approved the safety of the PF2-CAT3 model drone made by ACSL for "level 4" operation.

That means it can fly outside the operator's visible range and in populated areas.

Japan Post is now waiting for the green light to operate the drone.

Officials at Japan Post say that in the future, a drone service could bring down the cost of deliveries in mountain locations, as well as help ease a shortage of human delivery staff.

The government in December revised a law that covers level-4 drone flights. The change laid out a certification framework and qualifications for pilots.