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DJI GEO Zones?
3942 10 2018-12-27
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fans07604bb0
Second Officer
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I hope that I am posting this in the right location (first post on this board).

I have a question about understanding the DJI GEO Zone maps. In particulair the 'Altitude Zones', the grey colored ones. Do I need to ubtain locale authorization to fly in these areas even if I am flying below the altitutde limits? Does it make a difference if the grey zone is inside or outside a yellow warning zone? Related question, do I have to obtain authorization to fly within 'warning zones' the yellow zones?

Thanks for your help.
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2018-12-27
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Mark The Droner
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Welcome to the site!

You shouldn't confuse DJI's zones with the legality of flying in the airspace of your country.  You should treat these two ideas as being completely independent of each other.  You should know the airspace in your country.  Be sure your flight is legal in the area you wish to fly.  Do what you need to do to be legal, or fly in another area.

Next, once you know for sure the flight in your area will be legal, you can begin to deal with the DJI zones.  

These DJI height restricted zones are relatively new.  You need to think about these zones in 3-D which may be confusing since the maps on the screen are in 2-D.  My understanding is, you will be warned about them, you can fly underneath them, but you can't fly in them.  This means when you reach a certain height, you won't be able to go any higher.

The yellow warning zones will allow flight, you'll just get a warning.  

You don't need to "self-authorize" or "self-unlock" to fly in a yellow zone.  See sentence above.

I don't believe it's possible to get DJI authorization to fly in a grey zone (but you can fly under them).  

Fly safe!

2018-12-28
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DJI Natalia
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Hi there, I appreciate your time bringing this query to us. Zones in yellow can be unlocked in the GEO. If you want to unlock the zones in red, you will need to contact flysafe@dji.com further help. Unlocking an Authorization Zone will last six months if customers verify their DJI accounts with credit cards or IDs, while unlocking will last one month if customers verify their DJI accounts with mobile phone numbers. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked with the app, the unlocking will last 24 hours. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked on the website, the unlocking will last three days.  For more information, you may visit https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map. Should you have further question, please let us know.  Thank you.
2018-12-28
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fans07604bb0
Second Officer
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United States
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Mark The Droner Posted at 12-28 05:00
Welcome to the site!

You shouldn't confuse DJI's zones with the legality of flying in the airspace of your country.  You should treat these two ideas as being completely independent of each other.  You should know the airspace in your country.  Be sure your flight is legal in the area you wish to fly.  Do what you need to do to be legal, or fly in another area.

Thank you for the welcoming the newbie!

You shouldn't confuse DJI's zones with the legality of flying in the airspace of your country.  You should treat these two ideas as being completely independent of each other.  You should know the airspace in your country.  Be sure your flight is legal in the area you wish to fly.  Do what you need to do to be legal, or fly in another area.
Ok, good to know. I did not realsize that the DJI zones were different than FAA restrictions.

So where do you actually look to determine what is legal and what is restricted or illeagl airnspce?

Next, once you know for sure the flight in your area will be legal, you can begin to deal with the DJI zones.

What do you mean 'deal with' DJI zones. Are they just suggestions and a safe starting point? Are there legal consquences for ignoring them?

These DJI height restricted zones are relatively new.  You need to think about these zones in 3-D which may be confusing since the maps on the screen are in 2-D.  My understanding is, you will be warned about them, you can fly underneath them, but you can't fly in them.  This means when you reach a certain height, you won't be able to go any higher.

Ok that makes sense.

The yellow warning zones will allow flight, you'll just get a warning.

Ok, so those are just warnings from DJI not form local authorities?

You don't need to "self-authorize" or "self-unlock" to fly in a yellow zone.  See sentence above.

I don't believe it's possible to get DJI authorization to fly in a grey zone (but you can fly under them).  


Thank you for your help!



2018-12-28
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Mark The Droner
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Flight distance : 2917 ft
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DJI tries to ensure you are legal, but it's not their responsibility.   It's your responsibility.  And their geo restrictions and zones are often close but not always perfect relative to US restrictions.  That's why you must always be sure you have a legal flight using your own sources.  www.airmap.com is a good source.  http://vfrmap.com/ can also be helpful.  But the primary source should be your own knowledge - using the facts you've acquired and the tools available to you to gain that knowledge.  

As a hobbyist in the USA, you should read Public Law 112-95 Sec 336.  Hopefully you've done that already, right?  You're registered with FAA already, right?  Your drone is marked with your FA number already, right?  If you neglect to do this and you get caught, the fine is in the low five figures USD.  

Understanding DJI zones will enable you to fly without problems.  Otherwise you'll sometimes be stuck on the ground scratching your head wondering why you can't launch.

Nothing on the DJI site is from the local authorities.  When you see yourself in a yellow zone or flying into a yellow zone, it's a clue that your flight may not be legal.  It's a clue that maybe you should have made a phone call before your flight.  Or it's a confirmation that you correctly made a phone call before the flight.  

Re Natalia's post above, I have never had to unlock a yellow authorization zone.  I just get a warning.  I've had to self-unlock an "enhanced authorization zone."  But the zone is not yellow, it's orange, at least on my map.  And yes, when I find myself in a yellow/orange zone, I've already contacted the appropriate source and advised them of my flight plan.

Good luck
2018-12-28
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fans07604bb0
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DJI Natalia Posted at 12-28 11:18
Hi there, I appreciate your time bringing this query to us. Zones in yellow can be unlocked in the GEO. If you want to unlock the zones in red, you will need to contact flysafe@dji.com further help. Unlocking an Authorization Zone will last six months if customers verify their DJI accounts with credit cards or IDs, while unlocking will last one month if customers verify their DJI accounts with mobile phone numbers. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked with the app, the unlocking will last 24 hours. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked on the website, the unlocking will last three days.  For more information, you may visit https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map. Should you have further question, please let us know.  Thank you.

Zones in yellow can be unlocked in the GEO.

Will the drone (Phantom 4) not fly in a yellow zone unless I unlock it? Or do I just get a warniing on the DJI Go 4 app?


Is it illelgal to fly in a Yellow zone without government authoization?


If you want to unlock the zones in red, you will need to contact flysafe@dji.com further help. Unlocking an Authorization Zone will last six months if customers verify their DJI accounts with credit cards or IDs, while unlocking will last one month if customers verify their DJI accounts with mobile phone numbers. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked with the app, the unlocking will last 24 hours. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked on the website, the unlocking will last three days.



Thank you for that info.




2018-12-28
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fans07604bb0
Second Officer
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Mark The Droner Posted at 12-28 16:30
DJI tries to ensure you are legal, but it's not their responsibility.   It's your responsibility.  And their geo restrictions and zones are often close but not always perfect relative to US restrictions.  That's why you must always be sure you have a legal flight using your own sources.  www.airmap.com is a good source.  http://vfrmap.com/ can also be helpful.  But the primary source should be your own knowledge - using the facts you've acquired and the tools available to you to gain that knowledge.  

As a hobbyist in the USA, you should read Public Law 112-95 Sec 336.  Hopefully you've done that already, right?  You're registered with FAA already, right?  Your drone is marked with your FA number already, right?  If you neglect to do this and you get caught, the fine is in the low five figures USD.  

DJI tries to ensure you are legal, but it's not their responsibility.   It's your responsibility.  
Of course, I understand that.

And their geo restrictions and zones are often close but not always perfect relative to US restrictions.  

That is why I am here asking questions, I'm trying to learn so as to know what sources I can trust that will give me accurate legal information. I want to do everyting legal.


That's why you must always be sure you have a legal flight using your own sources.  www.airmap.com is a good source.  http://vfrmap.com/ can also be helpful.  But the primary source should be your own knowledge - using the facts you've acquired and the tools available to you to gain that knowledge.




At this point I would not trust my knowledge I'm trying to sort out what is trust worthy and legal and what might be information influenced by a conflict of interest. Why do you or why can I trust vfrmap over dji maps? Do they have some sort of governmental accreditation? It seems like there are a million apps and resources, which ones to trust?


As a hobbyist in the USA, you should read Public Law 112-95 Sec 336.  Hopefully you've done that already, right?


I have not, I have no idea what that is, this is the first time I have hard of such a law. Where can I go to read it? I will not be doing this as a hobbist but eventually for commercial purposes. I have taken on a job where my new boss whats me to learn how to fly a drone for his construction business (I am a photographer by profession) and I am trying to learn how to fly a DJI 4 plus everything else that I need to know so that I can to be sure that I am doing this in a proper and legal way.


You're registered with FAA already, right?  

I am not. Do I personally have to be registered or do I need to be licensed? I didn't know I personally had to be registered, how is that different than being licensed


Your drone is marked with your FA number already, right?

It is not but it is not my personal property it belongs to the company. But I know it has to be done and it will be done soon. Which raises another question. Is the owner of the drone the only one who can legally fly it? Or can a licensed pilot fly any drone as long as the drone is registered and flown legally?

If you neglect to do this and you get caught, the fine is in the low five figures USD.

I did not know it was that high. Thanks for the sobering warning!
2018-12-28
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Mark The Droner
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vfrmap is a sectional chart which provides info which the other maps may not include.  It's the one manned aircraft use.  This specific map allows you to toggle with a road map which is handy for model/UAS pilots.

You should decide whether you want to be licensed under Part 107 or registered as a hobbyist.  Sounds to me like you want the former.  You might want to register as a hobbyist first though since it's quick and easy.  Then you can practice flying while you prepare for your Part 107 license.  

https://drones.princeton.edu/sites/drones/files/sec-336.pdf

https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/default/files/105.pdf

You will have to pass a written test to become a certified Part 107 pilot.  To fly Part 107, the UAS which is to be used to fly Part 107 must be registered under Part 107.  A modeler can fly a Part 107 registered UAS provided he follows the rules of Sec 336, aka Part 101.  

As a hobbyist, you register yourself and then, if the UAS has no FA number on it,  put the FA number on the UAS somewhere - inside the battery compartment is a popular place.  The important thing is, the (DJI Phantom) UAS must be marked with an FA number somewhere.  

By the way, Sec 336 was repealed recently and we're waiting to know what changes will occur.  But hobbyists are told to adhere to the rules of Sec 336 until then.  I suspect we are going to be forced to become members of a CBO.  

My understanding is, the owner of the company can own and register the UAS to be used commercially, but the pilot must be certified under Part 107.  

https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/


2018-12-29
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fans07604bb0
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Mark The Droner Posted at 12-29 04:06
vfrmap is a sectional chart which provides info which the other maps may not include.  It's the one manned aircraft use.  This specific map allows you to toggle with a road map which is handy for model/UAS pilots.

You should decide whether you want to be licensed under Part 107 or registered as a hobbyist.  Sounds to me like you want the former.  You might want to register as a hobbyist first though since it's quick and easy.  Then you can practice flying while you prepare for your Part 107 license.  

Thanks so much for taking your personal time to try and steer me in the right direction. It has been very helpful. I still have much reading and learning to do before I even think about taking the 107. To that end I like your idea of registering as a hobbiest so that I can be working on my flying skills while I study up for the written exam.
2018-12-29
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fans7ca6fc2b
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DJI Natalia Posted at 2018-12-28 11:18
Hi there, I appreciate your time bringing this query to us. Zones in yellow can be unlocked in the GEO. If you want to unlock the zones in red, you will need to contact flysafe@dji.com further help. Unlocking an Authorization Zone will last six months if customers verify their DJI accounts with credit cards or IDs, while unlocking will last one month if customers verify their DJI accounts with mobile phone numbers. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked with the app, the unlocking will last 24 hours. If an Authorization Zone is unlocked on the website, the unlocking will last three days.  For more information, you may visit https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map. Should you have further question, please let us know.  Thank you.

I have recently started flying a DJI Phantom 4 Pro for commercial photography.  Today I needed to fly to 400' Above Ground Level to complete a photo, but when I started my flight, the system told me I was limited to 60m, apparently due to DJI Altitude Zone restrictions.  The area I was flying requires I receive Air Traffic Control authorization to fly in, which I did, and that authorization is good to 400' Above Ground Level.  I also happened to be within a mile of a Hospital Helipad, and, although I am not required to, I called the hospital and spoke with the regional Flight for Life operators, who informed me they had no problem with my flying in that area to 400' AGL.  Why is DJI not making these Altitude Zones Unlockable?  It appears they are primarily in areas of Extended Runway Centerlines, which, if Air Traffic Control has authorized my flight, I am cleared to operate in following Part 107 sUAS rules.  There is no reason for DJI to 'regulate' my flights beyond what the Federal Government does.  In my specific case, it is on the extended runway centerline of an Emergency Crosswind Runway - used ONLY in the extremely rare event an aircraft cannot land due to excessive crosswinds on the main runway.  On a final note, the ATC facility that authorized my flight operates the tower at that airfield.

This DJI Altitude Zone restriction will impact my decisions on the next drones I purchase.  I hope DJI develops an option to unlock these DJI altitude limitations.
9-18 19:43
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Mark The Droner
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fans7ca6fc2b Posted at 9-18 19:43
I have recently started flying a DJI Phantom 4 Pro for commercial photography.  Today I needed to fly to 400' Above Ground Level to complete a photo, but when I started my flight, the system told me I was limited to 60m, apparently due to DJI Altitude Zone restrictions.  The area I was flying requires I receive Air Traffic Control authorization to fly in, which I did, and that authorization is good to 400' Above Ground Level.  I also happened to be within a mile of a Hospital Helipad, and, although I am not required to, I called the hospital and spoke with the regional Flight for Life operators, who informed me they had no problem with my flying in that area to 400' AGL.  Why is DJI not making these Altitude Zones Unlockable?  It appears they are primarily in areas of Extended Runway Centerlines, which, if Air Traffic Control has authorized my flight, I am cleared to operate in following Part 107 sUAS rules.  There is no reason for DJI to 'regulate' my flights beyond what the Federal Government does.  In my specific case, it is on the extended runway centerline of an Emergency Crosswind Runway - used ONLY in the extremely rare event an aircraft cannot land due to excessive crosswinds on the main runway.  On a final note, the ATC facility that authorized my flight operates the tower at that airfield.

This DJI Altitude Zone restriction will impact my decisions on the next drones I purchase.  I hope DJI develops an option to unlock these DJI altitude limitations.

Have you tried custom unlock?  
9-19 02:03
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