Since the media-embellished ‘drone’ exploits at Gatwick and Heathrow airports over the last few months, the industry has been sensitive to further accusation. DJI is now introducing changes in order to avoid future blame by restricting where users are able to fly.
Following a year of drone-blamed incidents throughout the world, manufacturers such as DJI are now working hard to introduce measures which will help to avoid drones being scapegoated.
This firmware and DJI Go 4 update by DJI, originally announced in late 2018, which will see the ‘No Fly Zone’ (NFZ) around airports extended and changed from the conventional circular pattern to a new ‘bow-tie’ pattern, similar to those used in regular airspace charting.
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Known as the ‘Geospatial Environment Online’ (GEO), the latest version 2.0 system will eventually deploy in 32 countries, plus an additional 13 countries where no GEO facility has been previously active for DJI consumers.
It is believed to be deploying this month into European countries via DJI Go 4 app and drone firmware updates.
The changes to GEO provides capability to designate airports as low, medium and high risk, each of which provides differing limitations in range and altitude.
DJI has also changed its provider of airspace data in order to obtain more accurate geospatial information. The new provider allows highly accurate details such as the exact locations of airport runways and facility boundaries.
“DJI is proud to once again lead the industry in developing proactive solutions for safety and security concerns, this is an enormous step forward for safely integrating drones into the airspace based on a more finely-tuned evaluation of risks associated with aircraft approaching and departing different types of airports.” Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs
In North America, DJI will use data from PrecisionHawk, replacing DJI’s previous geospatial data provider AirMap.
DJI has also eased the way in which professional, enterprise and certified operators can request to ‘unlock’ a NFZ area enabling flight, taking just 30 minutes for most cases.
Some consumers may reject this move as being ‘negative’ and a ‘big brother’ style intrusion, but the majority of the responsible community will have no reason to resent DJI for these changes. Not only do they protect our airspace, manned aircraft and airports but they also protect drone operators from accidentally flying into controlled airspace, and more importantly into the path of oncoming aircraft.
The new updates will be deployed via firmware and app updates, DJI consumers are encouraged to keep their equipment up-to-date to ensure that the latest safety data is active, firmware updates in addition also offer enhanced functionality for user-enjoyment, as well as bug-fixes to protect your valuable drones.
Read the original DJI press release here and comment below with your thoughts on these changes.
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