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DJI-Ken
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On July 5, DJI introduced an improved version of our geofencing system in the latest update to the DJI GO app in the U.S. and Europe. As we mentioned when we released the update, our goal was – and always will be – safety. We want customers to fly responsibly, while still enabling full capabilities of our aerial platforms.
Geospatial Online Environment introduced flexibility for DJI drone operators, allowing them to unlock some geofenced locations where they have permission to operate. And it improved upon our previous geofencing technology, by including live, updated information about temporary flight restrictions.
For DJI customers, GEO is an excellent solution to make educated and informed flight decisions easier than ever. But we recognize that our vast range of global customers spans everyone from occasional recreational users all the way to certified commercial operators who fly for a living. Your needs are largely -- but not always -- the same.
For operators who are still not able to access or unlock areas where they are authorized to fly, please send a note to us atflysafe@dji.com with your requests. We pledge to work with you to the best of our ability to help you fly where you’re authorized to fly.

GEO is currently available in the following couintries:
United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Andorra and UAE

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Thanks Ken for the helpful confirmation of how GEO zones work. I am most concerned with the process to unlock those red zones. I think they are helpful in making sure idiots don't fly in the immediate vicinity of airfields but there needs to be a more effective way of giving permission to operators that are permitted to fly on airfields. I emailed fly safe email and was happy to see a prompt response. Although, in order to unlock the red zone they told me I would have to submit a lot of information such as copies of my Driver's License, a signed NDA and Disclaimer, a letter of authorization, and on top of that will have to use a custom coded DJI Go app when I want to fly in the red zone. This to me seems ridiculous for many reasons but especially because of the custom DJI Go app that is separate from what everyone else is using. What happens when there is a firmware update? Will I need to wait for a new custom app from DJI? Will I need to run different versions of the app or firmware on the craft than what is publicly available just so I can fly in the red zone I unlocked? Will this mean I sacrifice other new features in the public app? I think DJI took a step in the right direction but there needs to be a more solid approach to verifying operators and their permission to operate and coordinate with ATC and the FAA at airports. I don't want to have to turn down a last minute job at the airfield just because I need to wait for DJI to unlock the zone for me and send me a custom DJI Go app.

The process mentioned above I think should be the process for flying in restricted areas like the DC SFRA. That makes sense. Those jobs have to be planned well in advance anyway and unathorized flight in those zones is a huge deal. But regular airports not in a restricted airspace zone should not be that involved to get into.


2016-7-7
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DJI-Ken
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cinematic_aero Posted at 2016-7-8 04:28
Thanks Ken for the helpful confirmation of how GEO zones work. I am most concerned with the process  ...

I'm not sure if the Restricted unlock process is set in stone or not. It very well may be, it's all new so let's see how things shake out.
I will send an email with your concerns.
2016-7-7
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-7 17:26
I'm not sure if the Restricted unlock process is set in stone or not. It very well may be, it's al ...

Thanks Ken! Let me know if they want anymore feedback.
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DJI-Ken
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cinematic_aero Posted at 2016-7-8 05:50
Thanks Ken! Let me know if they want anymore feedback.

Sounds good, thanks.
2016-7-7
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DJI-Ken
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cinematic_aero Posted at 2016-7-8 05:50
Thanks Ken! Let me know if they want anymore feedback.

They said they expect to make regular updates to the GEO system, things like smaller airports turning them into Authorization zones instead or Restricted zones.
So as time goes on, I think everyone will be pleased with GEO.
2016-7-7
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-8 09:17
They said they expect to make regular updates to the GEO system, things like smaller airports turn ...

On August 29th, in the United States, a new Remote Pilot Certificate for operations other than hobby will be a reality.  Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 107 makes this possible.  There are some serious implications for the GEO system for properly certificated Remote Pilots operating under 14CFR Part 107.  

Two that are of immediate concern are:

1.  There is no distance requirement or reporting requirement for aircraft operations in the vicinity of an airport in uncontrolled (class G) airspace for operations under this new rule.  There is only the requirement to not interfere with airport operations or traffic patterns.

2.  There is no longer a hard altitude limit of 400 ft when operating within 400 ft of a structure.  In fact, you can operate above the structures altitude if you remain within 400 ft of the structures most immediate highest point (presumably to allow inspection of towers, etc.)

It would certainly be an unnecessary burden on properly Certificated Remote Pilots operating under 14CFR Part 107 to have to ask DJIs permission to operate according to US Federal Regulations.  

A wealth of information about the new rule effective August 29 is available from www.faa.gov/UAS/
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MJones Posted at 2016-7-7 18:50
On August 29th, in the United States, a new Remote Pilot Certificate for operations other than hob ...

Aloha MJones,

     Interesting points you make and there are straight-forward answers.  To answer #1, Part 107 is part of the entire FAA set of regulations.  The distance and reporting requirements you are concerned about are in other parts of the FAA regulations.  That is one reason why 333 Exemptions required a pilot certificate.  You need to look up those requirements in the regulations.  Part 107 has no need to list them since it would be redundant.  But, it may be in the 607 page discussion of the Part 107 regulation.
FAA Part 107 Regulations and Discussion


     For #2, (this is my favorite) the 400 foot limits around a structure work perfectly with the existing 500 foot limits for manned aircraft around the same structures.  To fly such routes, enable altitudes above 120 meters in the DJI GO app and in GEO self authorize your flight if it is zoned for it.  You may have to inform DJI of your authorization to fly in the airspace around certain structures, just like you would in more flat zones.  

     You may have a point if you want to fly higher than 1500 feet since the DJI GO app does software limit the DJI products to 500 meters.  But, maybe DJI is working on that one to.

     Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
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Thanks for the info. Ken. Not a fan of FW wonky updates but gotta give credit where it is due. DJI has made it almost painless for us commercial operators to fly in these zones, as well they should. We have enough irresponsible flyers causing problems near airports. I don't see an issue when it takes over 60 days just to get a COA. Well done!
2016-7-8
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-8 09:17
They said they expect to make regular updates to the GEO system, things like smaller airports turn ...

OK, that sounds reasonable I think if done in the way I described with red zones being things like restricted airspace and maybe major security concerns like nuclear plants and TFRs. Hopefully this all happens at least by the time Part 107 is effective August 29th.
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MJones
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Aloha Cateman,

As you seem to be somewhat familiar, Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations does indeed contain many parts.  Each Part of the Federal Regulations begins with a statement of Applicability.  It describes precisely to what operations a specific set of regulations apply.

As you correctly point out, one of the Parts to which you refer is 14CFR Part 91 or General Operating and Flight Rules which, until the release of Part 107, govern both manned as well as unmanned aircraft.  As you point out, it is for this reason, in the absence of a rule specific to the special needs of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), that a 333 exemption from subsections of Part 91 and other Parts are required to operate in the National Airspace for other than hobby purposes.


However, on August 29, 14CFR Part 107 will be a reality in the United States.  Part 91.1 Applicability has been amended to EXCLUDE small unmanned aircraft systems from all the regulations in Part 91 except those specifically noted that relate to aircraft registration, alcohol or drugs, flight restricted areas by notices to airmen, and the submission of alcohol testing results.  

Specifically:
“91.1(f) except as provided in §§ 107.13, 107.27, 107.47, 107.57, and 107.59 of this chapter, this part [14CFR Part 91] does not apply to any aircraft governed by part 107 of this chapter.”  There is a requirement to follow "91.137 through 91.145" that relate to temporary and other special flight restrictions.

With regard to altitude regulations, the rule to which you refer, 14CFR Part 91.119 prescribes minimum safe altitudes, such as the 500 foot requirement you reference.  The 500ft minimum altitude requirement is only for “other than congested areas.” and is actually 1000ft above the highest obstacle in a 2000ft radius over any “city, town, settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons…” Just one example of why you would need a waiver by 333 exemption to operate for real estate photography in all but sparsely populated areas.  

But after August 29th, Part 91.119 will no longer apply to civil sUAS operating under 14CFR Part 107.  Part 107 has its own requirements for safe operation.  No 333 exemption is required, but a Remote Pilot Certificate is required to operate as Remote Pilot in Command under the new rule and the path to obtaining that certificate is clearly described.  www.faa.gov/uas/

This is an exciting time in the history of aviation, and it would be good for DJI to modify its position on the GEO system to allow operation in the US Airspace under the new Federal Regulations, not unlocked on demand, but permanently for those who hold a Remote Pilot Certificate.

Best Regards,
Mike
2016-7-8
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DJI-Ken
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cinematic_aero Posted at 2016-7-9 00:51
OK, that sounds reasonable I think if done in the way I described with red zones being things like ...

It will be an evolving process.
2016-7-8
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DJI-Ken
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MJones Posted at 2016-7-9 00:52
Aloha Cateman,

As you seem to be somewhat familiar, Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations doe ...

For non certified aircraft pilots, I think part 107 is going to be a little more difficult than most people expect.
We'll see though when it actually comes out.
I'm a private pilot and also have a 333 and I completed the online test for Remote Pilot certification. I think for non pilots, there's going to be more than just having to take a FAA test at a approved facility.
2016-7-8
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eta1131
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I am going through the process now.   I want to fly at a Air National Guard base located at a county airport.  I have made my requests which included a letter from the base commander with his ID and the DJI legal forms.   I need to wait two business days for it to go through.   That will be on Monday.  I was quickly sent a link to download the app and login info.  When and if i am approved it should work right now it does not.   So far so good.   But like mentioned above, last minute opportunities are not possible.   

I have some questions

Can we use third party apps which control our birds for photogrammetry purposes?   
Can we use dual operation?   If so do i need to download the app on my second ipad?   I suspect so.  Will i use the same login?
Will this new app work with the new zenmuse XT FLIR?   

i will keep you posted as to how it plays out.

I agree with Ken that this will be an evolving process.   The good news is that all inspire owners are in the same boat.   I don't think the A2 flight controller has this issue.   I will bring my custom with an A2 and see if it that works.  I believe it will.  However, the inspire is just so much easier to use on all levels.

2016-7-8
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-7-9 02:35
Thanks for the info. Ken. Not a fan of FW wonky updates but gotta give credit where it is due. DJI h ...

If most airports were Authorisation Zones I would agree - currently they are not.   Lets hope they change that.

I am negotiating an unlock through flysafe@dji.com for a task this week.  This is progressing well and I should have the unlock in the next day or two but GEO would not allow me to do what I needed.

This is for an airport in Australia where GEO is not implemented.   I am fine with that, but later this year have a few tasks in locations where GEO has been implemented.  Currently those airports are showing as Restricted Zones that cannot be unlocked by GEO.

Hopefully things will change by then, allowing an easy unlock via GEO, but if not, it will have to be done through flysafe@dji.com which is a longer process.

2016-7-9
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DJI-Ken
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Rob2160 Posted at 2016-7-9 20:14
If most airports were Authorisation Zones I would agree - currently they are not.   Lets hope they  ...

GEO is an evolving process and it will get better and better in time.
2016-7-11
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-12 00:00
GEO is an evolving process and it will get better and better in time.

Ken, will the GEO feature include more countries soon? Can you provide a list of countries that it include *now* and make a sticky post?
2016-7-11
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eta1131@gmail.c Posted at 2016-7-8 21:38
I am going through the process now.   I want to fly at a Air National Guard base located at a county ...

Update.

With the help from Blair Tang of DJI i was able to successfully unlock the NFZ.   Their system works as advertised.

Ed
2016-7-12
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-11 18:00
GEO is an evolving process and it will get better and better in time.

Ken,

Can you answer my questions below?  I am curious if i can do the following with DJI unlimit app?

Can we use third party apps which control our birds for photogrammetry purposes?   
Can we use dual operation?   If so do i need to download the app on my second ipad?   I suspect so.  Will i use the same login?
Will this new app work with the new zenmuse XT FLIR?   

Thank you.
Ed
2016-7-12
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DJI-Ken
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Rob W Posted at 2016-7-12 13:51
Ken, will the GEO feature include more countries soon? Can you provide a list of countries that it ...

These are the countries GEO currently works in. I'm guessing more will be added as time goes on.

United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Andorra and UAE
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-12 16:03
These are the countries GEO currently works in. I'm guessing more will be added as time goes on.

...

Thank's Ken!
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No problem, just keep an eye on the GEO page.
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eta1131@gmail.c Posted at 2016-7-9 09:38
I am going through the process now.   I want to fly at a Air National Guard base located at a county ...

Hi ETA1131,

I was unpleasantly surprised this morning. Been working progress flights on the same prison expansion construction project since May. Just updated DJI GO to 2.8.4 (I guess that's what did it/updated NFZ?). Went to the job site and a nice huge red zone popped up. I have permission from the warden to fly over, with advance notice (they wait until lunch when all inmates are indoors).

How long did it take from your first email to flysafe to get a response? My next flight is August 9, so I'm hoping it won't take too long...

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eta1131@gmail.c Posted at 2016-7-12 20:26
Update.

With the help from Blair Tang of DJI i was able to successfully unlock the NFZ.   Their sy ...

   
2016-7-12
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-7-13 10:53
Hi ETA1131,

I was unpleasantly surprised this morning. Been working progress flights on the same  ...

Hello Licensed Pilot,

I reached out to them on the July 4th and Blair Tang responded on July 5th.   Blair is out of the HK office.  I submitted all the required documentation and specific information about my aircraft.  They unlocked the NFZ in two business days as promised.  

The only issue i have now is getting answers about operating with a cameraman as well as if my Zenmumse XT FLIR is supported by the unlimit app.

You should not have problem getting it unlocked in time for your August 9th project.

Good luck.
Ed
2016-7-13
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-7-13 10:53
Hi ETA1131,

I was unpleasantly surprised this morning. Been working progress flights on the same  ...

If you have all the documentation they require it should only take a few days.  You may also need a letter of authorisation from the Prison Warden.

My first unlock took 5 days (weekend included) and the second one less than 24 hours.

I just requested two additional unlocks this morning but they are primary airports so DJI have asked for letters from the Airport confirming my authorisation to fly.  Once I submit those DJI stated two further business days for the unlock.

The system works and I have been able to fly inside two airport zones this week.   
2016-7-15
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Rob2160 Posted at 2016-7-15 16:02
If you have all the documentation they require it should only take a few days.  You may also need a ...

Thank you; waiting on the warden's letter, through the construction company. They are very clear on vendors not contacting the client. Good to know the process only takes a few days.

On a different topic; I see my local airport RED NFZ on the DJI GO app sitting at my house( 3 miles from the airport) , should I be able to roll the map over to the prison and see the NFZ? I don't see it.
2016-7-15
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-7-15 21:21
Thank you; waiting on the warden's letter, through the construction company. They are very clear o ...

The NFZ only work for about a 5 mile or so radius. you would have to drive closer to a NFZ that's in the GEO map page on the website to see it in the app.
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-16 04:37
The NFZ only work for about a 5 mile or so radius. you would have to drive closer to a NFZ that's  ...

Thanks.   
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No problem, just first verify on the GEO webpage if your flying area is a NFZ or not.http://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-system/unlock
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-16 05:44
No problem, just first verify on the GEO webpage if your flying area is a NFZ or not.http://www.dji ...

Sorry to bother you all again, but why would a high school be a NFZ green zone/warning ???
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-7-16 07:46
Sorry to bother you all again, but why would a high school be a NFZ green zone/warning ???

Start turning off the zones and see when that one goes away. And it's not a NFZ, HFZ's are Red. Maybe it's under the private recreation warning. Just leave those off and clear the screen of those.
They are there just to make you aware of what's out there.
2016-7-16
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-15 14:44
No problem, just first verify on the GEO webpage if your flying area is a NFZ or not.http://www.dji ...

Ken

where can you find out the reason or about why their is warning  or extended warning zones. We have some located on the Oregon coast but no airports are around. Some of these areas are huge. The GEO map asked if I had permission and if I wanted to take on the risk or responsibility for unlocking the extended warning zone.

could have ruined my 200 mile trip for videos

Rich
2016-7-18
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RichJ53 Posted at 2016-7-19 07:25
Ken

where can you find out the reason or about why their is warning  or extended warning zones. W ...

Did you get any screenshots?
These are the only two I see and I see a lined border, maybe some kind of marine sanctuary.
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-18 19:47
Did you get any screenshots?
These are the only two I see and I see a lined border, maybe some kin ...


Hi Ken

Yes I have some flight logs and video near the upper area you show in this screen shot. They actually have a extended area inside another extended warning area... weird  


They have some nesting birds near Bandon, and Drones are not allowed to fly at all (I did not fly of course). I flew up north and could not see any wildlife in the area and I was very careful.
It is really disappointing that the Government is locking down all of our scenic areas.... even with no people around on the beach (completely safe)


Rich
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-18 19:47
Did you get any screenshots?
These are the only two I see and I see a lined border, maybe some kin ...

2016-7-18
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-18 19:47
Did you get any screenshots?
These are the only two I see and I see a lined border, maybe some kin ...


screen shot from video looking South

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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-18 19:47
Did you get any screenshots?
These are the only two I see and I see a lined border, maybe some kin ...


Looking North


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Looks like a beautiful place to fly. It's a enhanced warning zone so totally free to fly there.
2016-7-19
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-19 07:56
Looks like a beautiful place to fly. It's a enhanced warning zone so totally free to fly there.

Hi Ken,

It was a beautiful day on the Oregon Coast .....
I guess I do not understand the reason behind warning areas.... We had a great time and the DJI equipment worked perfectly. I know that you do a lot of flying at the Pacific Ocean, what do you do for clean up? salt air and sand etc?

Thanks
Rich
2016-7-19
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