Japan's transport minister has indicated that the restrictions on using drones near airports will be tightened to ensure the safety of aviation.
Kazuyoshi Akaba was speaking to reporters on Friday, following reports that a drone had been spotted the previous night over Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan. The runways were temporarily closed and 27 flights were affected.
On October 19, the airport's runways were also closed after a similar report.
Akaba said drones pose a serious risk to aircraft. He added that a system to quickly deal with such incidents must be established, and the government will do its best to prevent a recurrence.
Akaba hinted at installing drone sensors near airports, stepping up patrols in coordination with airport administrators and debating what kind of further regulations are needed.
He also referred to a series of cases of pilots drinking alcohol before flights. On Thursday, an All Nippon Airways captain tested positive for alcohol in a pre-flight test.
Akaba harshly criticized these incidents as intolerable, saying pilots are in charge of transporting many passengers. He expressed his intention to tighten countermeasures.