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Drone manufacturer DJI to block flights near airports
20 November 2015
Typical small drone with camera (photo: Don McCullough / CC:by)

Typical small DJI drone with camera (photo: Don McCullough / CC:by)

Drone manufacturer DJI announced it will add a geofencing system to it’s products to ban operation of a drone into airport zones.

The operation of drones around airports and other areas with safety concerns is a growing problem. Numerous airprox events have been reported with these unmanned aircraft systems and aircraft.

The new DJI firmware and app update will provide DJI drone users with up-to-date guidance on locations where flight may be restricted by regulation or raise safety concerns.  The drone will by default not fly into or take off in, locations that raise safety or security concerns.  However, in order to accommodate the vast variety of authorized applications, the new system will also allow users who have verified DJI accounts to temporarily unlock or self-authorize flights in some of those locations. The unlock function will not be available for sensitive national-security locations such as Washington, D.C. or other prohibited areas.

Unlocking will require a DJI user account verified with a credit card, debit card or mobile phone number.  The verified account, required only if and when a user chooses to fly in a location that might raise an aviation safety or security concern, provides a measure of accountability in the event that the flight is later investigated by authorities.

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