Why Japan is Winning at Drones (It isn’t Pokemon GO)

japanJapan is once again showing the world what it means to be truly committed to the drone industry.  Japanese vocational high school Vantan has announced that they will introduce a focused Drone & Robotics Course in April of next year, Japan Today reports.  The course is a full-time, 3 year program in drones; designed to fill what the school believes is a serious gap in the labor pool.

“Vantan believes that there is a serious drought of human resources to handle the steadily increasing demand for skilled drone engineers in Japan,” says Japan Today, commenting that the school estimates the industry will expand by 600% in five years. The new program will cover drone operation, maintenance and inspection, Japan’s current aviation laws and regulations, and computer programming.

While the course will not be available to adults, the school will also offer a streamlined six-month Drone Pilot and Aerial Course for grown ups.

The hyper-focused high school curriculum, designed to lead directly to a drone job upon graduation, is just one of the moves that Japan has made to encourage the growth of the commercial drone industry.  The support comes directly from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who called the drone industry a significant part of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”  The Abe government has all but outlawed recreational drones in Japanese cities, but continues to move quickly to form regulations that will be favorable to the commercial drone industry.

Japan has passed regulations to allow for special “de-regulation zones” in which new technology may be tested.  Earlier in the year, drone delivery companies -including Amazon – flocked to the Japanese city of Chiba, one of the de-regulation zones, in bids to test drone delivery.    They have also regulated the use of specific radio frequencies for drone use, allowing for the transmission of higher quality video.  The government has also said that it will allow flight beyond visual line of sight soon.




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