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DJI Updates and Drone Restrictions
4305 31 2017-5-28
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DroneGuyEd
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The recent DJI update worried a lot of people in the area of drone restrictions.  When the dust settled little seems to have changed.  However the subject is one that is likely quite real.

DJI is a company that has become quite successful in a few short years on a global scale.  Their products are sold and used just about everywhere.  Where Apple, another highly successful international company, is highly protective about customer privacy…DJI clearly looks out for public safety and legal issues.

In the early years drones were more toys and there were few if any drone laws.  It just didn’t matter much.  In the last few years Phantom like products has changed that bringing highly capable camera drones to the masses at fairly low costs.  Most are capable of flying both high are far and drone laws resulted.

In the coming years its likely to only go in one direction…more extensive drone laws with limits and restrictions.  DJI appears to be reacting to that with changes that likely make it easier for them to be restrictive…when and where they might need to be.  The last thing they want is any kind of product ban for wide areas based on safety concerns and/or legal issues.

Here in the USA a recent new law is being considered.

Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced the “Drone Federalism Act of 2017” designed to limit the scope of FAA’s preemption for drone regulations and protect states’ rights to enact drone laws.”

A quick review of what this might mean may provide some insight to many here interested in drones.  Having control moved from the FAA to local and state representatives is not likely to go well with potential differences in every state, county and city possible.  It would not surprise me to find that similar things are being considered in other countries and areas.

We as drone enthusiasts needs to understand what’s out there today and what’s coming down the pike.  We need to take care in how we use our products.  Careless actions by a few can sometimes  result in changes that affect all those who use drones carefully.  We also need to be vocal in the best ways to support reasonable changes and restrictions.

2017-5-28
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john.g
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regulation/restriction is inevitable.  Same trend as in most political matters.  Liberty in general seems to be a failed concept
2017-5-30
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Maritimer
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I wasn't really worried about it as a new flyer I didn't know much about it so I didn't freak out over it. In fact ive never had issues with DJI site or customer support. There is a couple issues I do have which ill eventually find on the forums or figure it out for myself .. Other then that happy with my p3a so far.
2017-5-30
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DroneGuyEd
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john.g Posted at 2017-5-30 05:47
regulation/restriction is inevitable.  Same trend as in most political matters.  Liberty in general seems to be a failed concept

Very true.  Technology has moved a  lot since the current laws and guidelines were established.
2017-5-30
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TJH
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I don't have a problem with DJI trying the stay ahead of possible problems with FAA, what I do have a problem with is the incomplete testing with the new software updates.

Like Adobe, Google, MS, or any large company, DJI may want to consider more beta testing of various products or the announce of potential software conflicts on user devices. As a person who was a software programmer for many years, you were expected to not only program to the specs given you but also completely software test for ALL conditions. Surly from what I'm seeing on the forum, this has not been the case. I now have a drone and tablet that no longer talk with the DJI program. Needless to say I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place that going to force me to spend money I shouldn't have too do.
2017-5-30
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BearDrone
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The best way to protect all parties involved is to limit the AC's capability with software and GeoZones. While there may be a push to leave recreational aircraft rules up to the state and local authorities, the real issue is compliance. Voluntary compliance concerning issues of public safety is well, lets just say, a moving target at best. Companies like DJI are trying their best to stay ahead of this, keep everyone safe, while still maintaining robust sales in the West.

For 2015, Amazon sold 50K drones a month. That's just one retailer. The exponential increase in hobbyist AC roaming the skies will require technology to maintain some semblance of safety and practicality.

Like it or not, there are a lot of knuckleheads out there with these AC, and they do not fly responsibly.
2017-5-30
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Maxi3D
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Just last Saturday at Chicago's crowded Navy Pier. just before the Memorial weekend fireworks, someone flew an Inspire one right down the pier over everybody's head. I thought, there goes my hobby. Tried to track down the guy, but he/she landed the bird and took off.
2017-5-30
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DroneGuyEd
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BearDrone Posted at 2017-5-30 13:30
The best way to protect all parties involved is to limit the AC's capability with software and GeoZones. While there may be a push to leave recreational aircraft rules up to the state and local authorities, the real issue is compliance. Voluntary compliance concerning issues of public safety is well, lets just say, a moving target at best. Companies like DJI are trying their best to stay ahead of this, keep everyone safe, while still maintaining robust sales in the West.

For 2015, Amazon sold 50K drones a month. That's just one retailer. The exponential increase in hobbyist AC roaming the skies will require technology to maintain some semblance of safety and practicality.

I think there is also a liability issue here as well for companies like DJI...who have pockets.  They want to avoid groups from going after them for some customer who did bad stuff with a drone they made/sold.
2017-5-31
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imagine it
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I have no problems with the companies protecting themselves, what worries me is that when and if each individual state, county and city is allowed to regulate then we  get mass confusion of what we can and can not do. We also get the normal knee jerk reaction from the uninformed politicians and leads to over regulation that punishes the pilots who try to follow the rules because of those who don't. And as usual those who don't want to follow the rules will continue not to not matter what. The only effect that more restrictive actions have is to make it harder on the people who fly safely to enjoy their hobby. I think it is important that we as responsible pilots make sure we have a say in how our drones are regulated, and not just sit idly by.
2017-5-31
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embayweather
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DroneGuyEd, may I commend oyu on an excellent and well thought out post. Whilst I do not live in your country, I eblieve that here in teheUK we are suffering from the same types of problems. A minority of folk is spoiling it for the rest of us by flying against CAA rules in almost a devil may care attitude. I for one am thankful that DJI are placing such limits on the drome. They are still eminently usable even when flying within the rules, and I personally do not feel as though my 'style' is cramped as a result. We live in an area where there is a lot of unanoucned air traffic from the RAF who use it as an approach run for training in the Lake District. I would not like to be the one who downs one of those aircraft because my high flying drone got sucked into a turbofan.
Like you I am also convinced that there is more regulation on the way. Over here they are classed as aircraft and must follow the same regulations, something which many owners disregard as they think its an expensive toy. I believe it is entirely possible that we will all be required to be tested and licenced to fly these craft in due course. Perhaps tehn and only then can we get rid of the reckless flyers that are  jeopardising our hobby currently, an excellent example given by Maxi3D. I agree that we need to be more voal about responsible flying and makign our voice heard, but not just in the US but all over the world. How that can be done, i do not know, but I believe that this thread is a good start. I hope more flyers will add their voice of support to it.
2017-5-31
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DroneGuyEd
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Appreciate the comments.  It seems clear that more drone regulations are in the works...if for no other reason than technology has changed and gotten lower in cost.

Licensing and testing may occur...and that may help...but in the case of automobiles it hasn't ended stupid stuff so far.
2017-5-31
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BearDrone
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DroneGuyEd Posted at 2017-5-31 07:14
Appreciate the comments.  It seems clear that more drone regulations are in the works...if for no other reason than technology has changed and gotten lower in cost.

Licensing and testing may occur...and that may help...but in the case of automobiles it hasn't ended stupid stuff so far.

Ed,

Exactly! You hit the nail on the head. You can regulate the heck out of it, but idiots will continue to be idiots. Can you imagine, to take your analogy a bit further, if there were software that limited a drivers speed in certain areas at certain times? Like the morons who go 90 mph swerving in and out of traffic in rush hour? I for one would welcome that rather than more fees, registrations, tests, radar traps, police, etc. It's meaningless. Let the tech solve the problem.

I agree that pilots need to be heard, but I am still convinced that the technology that companies have to offer to keep the public safe is the way to go. I hope I live long enough to see driverless cars that we can all bring to our beck and call with our smart phone apps. Watch the accident rate plummet. Human error is ALWAYS the biggest factor in disasters, whether in a car, plane, or drone.
2017-5-31
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nitrop51\
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Hey I need help my tablet will not work the new dji update, it is a samsung t113 or something.
2017-6-1
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imagine it
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BearDrone Posted at 2017-5-31 17:14
Ed,

Exactly! You hit the nail on the head. You can regulate the heck out of it, but idiots will continue to be idiots. Can you imagine, to take your analogy a bit further, if there were software that limited a drivers speed in certain areas at certain times? Like the morons who go 90 mph swerving in and out of traffic in rush hour? I for one would welcome that rather than more fees, registrations, tests, radar traps, police, etc. It's meaningless. Let the tech solve the problem.

Where we run into problems with trying to use tech to solve out problems of misuse is that the miss users just hack the tech and continue to miss use. When we get driverless cars there will still be people out there hacking the systems causing problems.
2017-6-1
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Geebax
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'Having control moved from the FAA to local and state representatives is not likely to go well with potential differences in every state, county and city possible.  It would not surprise me to find that similar things are being considered in other countries and areas.'

It is very unlikely that a similar thing will happen in other countries, for the reason that the structure of separate states, with their separate laws does not really exist in other countries like it does in the US. In the UK for excample, control over the sky is the resonsibility of the CAA, in Australia it is CASA. These are 'federal' agencies and no state, territory or regional government within those countries have the power to pass laws over with respect to airspace..

And if the FAA in the US gives up that control to other states, then you will be in serious trouble. In essence, an agency like the FAA is an expert in the management of airspace, whereas a state, country or city is no expert at all, and is not qualified to make those laws. If they are permitted to, then you will end up with a complete mish-mash of stupid laws.

2017-6-1
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BearDrone
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imagine it Posted at 2017-6-1 15:53
Where we run into problems with trying to use tech to solve out problems of misuse is that the miss users just hack the tech and continue to miss use. When we get driverless cars there will still be people out there hacking the systems causing problems.

I don't know too many people that can 'hack' the railway system or the air space that we fly in. There will always be malicious people out there with ill intent, and that is why we have laws and prisons and courtrooms. Technology is not perfect, but the failure rate is much, much lower than human operation.
2017-6-1
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Punchbuggy
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Geebax Posted at 2017-6-1 16:34
'Having control moved from the FAA to local and state representatives is not likely to go well with potential differences in every state, county and city possible.  It would not surprise me to find that similar things are being considered in other countries and areas.'

It is very unlikely that a similar thing will happen in other countries, for the reason that the structure of separate states, with their separate laws does not really exist in other countries like it does in the US. In the UK for excample, control over the sky is the resonsibility of the CAA, in Australia it is CASA. These are 'federal' agencies and no state, territory or regional government within those countries have the power to pass laws over with respect to airspace..

Geebax, to clarify, while CASA in Australia governs the sky (along with AirServices), local councils can also impose restrictions on drone use. Perth City Council, for example, have banned drone flying over beaches and have restricted recreational flying to two reserves. See here:
http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/ ... fdd353853c8e71bac95

Moves like this require drone flyers to be aware of local restrictions then moving from State to State.
2017-6-1
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Geebax
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Punchbuggy Posted at 2017-6-1 16:42
Geebax, to clarify, while CASA in Australia governs the sky (along with AirServices), local councils can also impose restrictions on drone use. Perth City Council, for example, have banned drone flying over beaches and have restricted recreational flying to two reserves. See here:
http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/perth-council-clamps-down-on-public-drone-use/news-story/49d76a0d66aecfdd353853c8e71bac95

That does not mean the law drawn up by Perth Council will pass scrutiny, and may even be defeated in a challenge by CASA. Local governments can stop you taking off or landing on their land, but once in the air, they have no jurisdiction over the pilot. CASA's laws are adequate to protect everyone as they stand. Local governments have no jurisdiction over airspace.
2017-6-1
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Punchbuggy
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Geebax Posted at 2017-6-1 16:52
That does not mean the law drawn up by Perth Council will pass scrutiny, and may even be defeated in a challenge by CASA. Local governments can stop you taking off or landing on their land, but once in the air, they have no jurisdiction over the pilot. CASA's laws are adequate to protect everyone as they stand. Local governments have no jurisdiction over airspace.

Noted Geebax, and I 100% agree that CASA's guidelines are adequate (so long as pilots abide by them). But council restrictions are nevertheless imposed above-and-beyond and would subsequently impact on where I can fly my drones. I'm not sure if a good defence to being fined due to flying within a banned (by council) area would be 'but I took off from somewhere else...' I'll leave it up to braver pilots than I to risk a landmark legal case.
2017-6-1
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Bootspike
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Punchbuggy Posted at 2017-6-1 17:13
Noted Geebax, and I 100% agree that CASA's guidelines are adequate (so long as pilots abide by them). But council restrictions are nevertheless imposed above-and-beyond and would subsequently impact on where I can fly my drones. I'm not sure if a good defence to being fined due to flying within a banned (by council) area would be 'but I took off from somewhere else...' I'll leave it up to braver pilots than I to risk a landmark legal case.

Having worked in local government law enforcement for many years, I would tend to agree that Australian LGs would be hard pressed to enforce any local law about flying over parks. They may however have some jurisdiction over taking off, landing or controlling from parks, roads and other council controlled lands.

Play safe, err on the side of caution and don't play up is probably best.
2017-6-1
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Geebax
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Punchbuggy Posted at 2017-6-1 17:13
Noted Geebax, and I 100% agree that CASA's guidelines are adequate (so long as pilots abide by them). But council restrictions are nevertheless imposed above-and-beyond and would subsequently impact on where I can fly my drones. I'm not sure if a good defence to being fined due to flying within a banned (by council) area would be 'but I took off from somewhere else...' I'll leave it up to braver pilots than I to risk a landmark legal case.

Granted, I am not interested in being a test case, but any lawyer would agree that airspace is not within the jurisdiction of any council. They can make any law they like about it, but it would not stand up in court.
2017-6-1
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hallmark007
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Geebax Posted at 2017-6-1 16:34
'Having control moved from the FAA to local and state representatives is not likely to go well with potential differences in every state, county and city possible.  It would not surprise me to find that similar things are being considered in other countries and areas.'

It is very unlikely that a similar thing will happen in other countries, for the reason that the structure of separate states, with their separate laws does not really exist in other countries like it does in the US. In the UK for excample, control over the sky is the resonsibility of the CAA, in Australia it is CASA. These are 'federal' agencies and no state, territory or regional government within those countries have the power to pass laws over with respect to airspace..

I fully agree if FAA gives up control then politicians will take over and all that will concern them is where they the get the most votes from and these will be the ones they look after, and in turn drone flyers will be squeezed out.
EASA are present putting together new rules and regulations which will cover all EASA member states in Europe for flying drones, they are at present taking proposals from all interested parties drone communities and manufacturers like dji , it is a fairly collaborative process and they hope to have a new set of rules and regulations for flying throughout Europe at the end of this year.

Up to now rules and regulations for flying in Europe varied from country to country, this should give a clearer picture to drone flyers and one set of rules that can be used throughout Europe.

So keep rule making away from politicians and local governments who know nothing about flying, just look what happened in Sweden and Canada who needs that.
2017-6-2
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YjWH9fPVGpcg
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I believe that the greatest concern regarding drones all over the world it is not so much the safety but the mainly the privacy. The governments only see the drones as an instrument for surveillance because t is their way of seeing the use of the drones. As so, for them, all recreational drone users use their drones to spy on the public and nothing else. That is the reason because the councils and local authorities, etc, tend to pass laws on top of the laws from the entities that rule the air space. For those entities, safety is the main concern, and they are right, so they legislate according to safety issues related with aviation and not privacy, and that is also why in general the laws that come from airspace ruling entities are fare and general accepted by most of recreational users. On the other end, the general public still thinks that drone users are paparazzi and privacy intruders. What the majority of people fail to understand is that a photo from a handycam or a photo from a normal camera is far more intrusive that a photo or video taken from a drone, where most of the time you can only see the top of a person's head, rendering and identification almost impossible. Also is far more easy to spy on someone with a good hand camera and a good zoom without that person ever dreams that she is being surveilled.
2017-7-12
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YjWH9fPVGpcg
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Also there is a strong urge to keep the general public from producing valuable media content for free. Before drones, aerial footage and photography where things very expensive, today, anyone with a small drone and with a little knowledge can make almost or even already professional aerial footage and photography. That is very hard to accept for many people, but unless they managed to really kill the recreational part of the drone industry, is something that they cannot avoid. So, he first thing to do is to mislead the general public via the media, creating fear of safety and of privacy invasion, thus turning hard for any user to fly a drone near other people. Second they legislate with base on the safety and privacy, turning hard to find a place to fly drones. If the first and second don't succeed in killing the industry, then they will simply ban the recreational part of the industry with strong legislation.
2017-7-12
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HvH
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"A quick review of what this might mean may provide some insight to many here interested in drones.  Having control moved from the FAA to local and state representatives is not likely to go well with potential differences in every state, county and city possible.  It would not surprise me to find that similar things are being considered in other countries and areas."

Unfortunately, we do already have that mess here in Europe, where every country makes up their own laws . . .
2017-7-13
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E.finlay
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The only thing that needs stricter control and regulation is our sorry a## congress. and senate.
2017-7-16
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Calson
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Having personally been subjected to the failures with GPS databases in the USA I have no faith in the accuracy and validity of the No Fly Zones in the DJI database that is being used to restrict where users can fly DJI drones. My area is covered with Warning Zones and Enhanced Warning Zones in the DJI database and my only recourse is to spend another $100 and buy the DJI Flight Planner and get prior authorization with an internet connection with my computer before flying the drone anywhere around my house. And these Enhanced Warning Zone restricted areas are not airports of any kind but small private plane airports with very few if any planes using them most days.

The gun manufacturers were clever in paying Congressmen to enact legislation that exempted the gun manufacturers from misuse of their products with the resulting injuries and deaths and other effects. DJI is clearly more concerned about a lawsuit than anything else and this is understandable. Attorneys like to create overly restrictive policies and regulations as there is no push back for the most part.

I would not fault the FAA or Congress as they only are doing their jobs and following the directives of their billionaire bosses. I do fault DJI for blindly following the direction of their attorneys in creating flying zone restrictions that are not in agreement with FAA regulations but are a crude way to control the use of drones by their customers.

The more I look into all the restrictions with flying the Phantom 4 Pro drone the more it becomes apparent that I need to return the drone and buy something from another company. DJI is doing so well and has so much market share they have no need to worry about the needs of individual customers. They have become another Microsoft with their business practices.
2017-7-16
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DroneGuyEd
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Calson Posted at 2017-7-16 16:42
Having personally been subjected to the failures with GPS databases in the USA I have no faith in the accuracy and validity of the No Fly Zones in the DJI database that is being used to restrict where users can fly DJI drones. My area is covered with Warning Zones and Enhanced Warning Zones in the DJI database and my only recourse is to spend another $100 and buy the DJI Flight Planner and get prior authorization with an internet connection with my computer before flying the drone anywhere around my house. And these Enhanced Warning Zone restricted areas are not airports of any kind but small private plane airports with very few if any planes using them most days.

The gun manufacturers were clever in paying Congressmen to enact legislation that exempted the gun manufacturers from misuse of their products with the resulting injuries and deaths and other effects. DJI is clearly more concerned about a lawsuit than anything else and this is understandable. Attorneys like to create overly restrictive policies and regulations as there is no push back for the most part.

From the DJI web page:

HOW GEO WORKS
Geospatial information in GEO is categorized in one of three ways:


Warning Zone. In these Zones, which may not necessarily appear on the DJI GO map, users will be prompted with a warning message that may be relevant to their flight.
Example Warning Zone: A protected wildlife area.


Enhanced Warning Zone. In these Zones, you will be prompted by GEO at the time of flight to unlock the zone using the same steps as in an Authorization Zone, but you do not require a verified account or an internet connection at the time of your flight.
Example Enhanced Warning Zone: A farm which is 3 miles away from a busy international airport.


Authorization Zone. In these Zones, which appear yellow in the DJI GO map, users will be prompted with a warning and flight is limited by default. Authorization Zones may be unlocked by authorized users using a DJI verified account.
Example Authorization Zone: Model aircraft flying club near an airport.


Restricted Zone. In these Zones, which appear red the DJI GO app, users will be prompted with a warning and flight is prevented. If you believe you have authorization to operate in a Restricted Zone, please contact flysafe@dji.com
Example Restricted Zone: Washington D.C.

The GEO system is advisory only. Sometimes the Zones in GEO do not necessarily match the parameters or shape of official geospatial features due to an abundance of caution or technical reasons. Each user is responsible for checking official sources and determining what laws or regulations might apply to their flight.
2017-7-17
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fans64143ce6
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Just don't expect much from the tech support side of dji.
2017-7-29
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Mrwancookwu
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The fact is there a dji customers that have done the new up date for the controller with the go 4 app & they like me have a drone that will stop at 50 metres,the issue is now I've asked for supports help on how to fix this I'm ignored & that is very bad to be treated like this
2017-8-12
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FishinTexas2015
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DroneGuyEd Posted at 2017-5-31 03:06
I think there is also a liability issue here as well for companies like DJI...who have pockets.  They want to avoid groups from going after them for some customer who did bad stuff with a drone they made/sold.

That is ignorance and stupid....
Do victims of drunk drivers go after the beer makers?
Do victims of shootings go after the gun makers?
Do victims of abuse go after the parents of the offender?

I am sure we can agree that most drone users are responsible and folks like myself who are using drones commercially do abide by the laws and have our FAA licenses to operate sUAS's commercially.... now because of this STUPID junk DJI embedded in the latest DJI GO app., my livelihood is in jeopardy and I may be forced to shut down my business   
2017-8-12
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DroneGuyEd
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FishinTexas2015 Posted at 2017-8-12 17:47
That is ignorance and stupid....
Do victims of drunk drivers go after the beer makers?
Do victims of shootings go after the gun makers?

The answer is yes...at times.  Drunk driver victims do tend to go after bars that sold.  Also see here:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-n ... un-control-election
It also tends to rear its head in auto cases as well:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainm ... e/story?id=38197750

Liability issues tend to be gray areas at times.  While I do think most of these kind of claims are bogus, they do tend to occur fairly often.
2017-8-13
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