On Wednesday, May 22nd, DJI held an event in Washington DC to outline DJI’s actions and suggestions to improve the safety in the air for all participants, both manned and unmanned. DJI’s Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs, Brendan Schulman announced that DJI will install ADS-B receivers in all DJI drones over 250 grams starting on 1/1/2020. As a reference, the DJI Spark weighs 300 grams. This will be the single largest ADS-B deployment in the world as the number of drones in the air is much larger than the number of airplanes and helicopters combined. The introduction of ADS-B for DJI drones and other safety improvements were explained in a presentation titled ‘Elevating Safety: Protecting the Skies in the Drone Era.‘
Feature May 24
Feature May 23
In response to the DHS Alert from earlier this week, that caused quite some commotion after being picked up by major news outlets, DJI has posted their official response on the DJI Hub website. The drone maker says that their customers’ data is none of their business. They state that their goal is to provide a “reliable drone platform” and that their drones exceed or meet the DHS recommended mitigating measures. In DJI’s response, the company outlines five recommendations to keep your data safe.
Over the last few years, concerns about DJI’s data handling and security have flared up a number of times. With this week’s headlines, it seems that DJI gets sucked into the escalating trade war between the United States and China. Is the Chinese drone maker at risk of being viewed like another Huawei? A ban on buying DJI drones and products for US companies would be a significant blow to all the organizations and agencies that have come to rely on DJI’s drones to do good. Many rescue workers, police, and fire departments use DJI’s products to help save people’s lives. And, as unfortunate as it may be, there is currently hardly any alternative (except maybe the Parrot Anafi Thermal) for DJI’s capable AND affordable drones for many of these organizations.
If you, or your organization, are impacted by the data security concerns around DJI’s drones, we would like to hear from you either in the comments below or per email. Thank you!
For DJI’s official statement and their recommendations to keep your data safe while using DJI’s drones keep reading.
DJI Mavic Pro
Feature May 22
In the midst of a very turbulent week for DJI, the Chinese drone maker is holding an event in Washington, DC that focusses on improving the safety in the skies. In the Ronald Reagan Building, about seventy industry people gathered to listen to DJI’s latest developments and roadmap to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace. DJI announced that it will make a huge step towards improving safety in the skies. Among other things, the company has committed to installing AirSense technology that receives ADS-B signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters into every DJI drone over 250 grams from January 2020 forward.
Feature May 20
On Monday, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security expressed ‘strong concerns’ that Chinese-made drones, including DJI’s aircraft, could potentially be sending sensitive flight information to their China-based manufacturers, where it could be accessed by the Chinese government. The warnings from DHS follow the executive order from President Trump against Huawei and are the latest development in the escalating trade war between the United States and China.
Last Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules for hobbyist drone pilots in an effort to keep the national airspace safe and available for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer exempt under Section 336 and are now required to follow these new FAA rules and regulations. Unfortunately, for the time being, this means that hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer able to fly in controlled airspace at all, with the exception of these designated areas.
Later this summer, when the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system will be made available to hobbyist drone pilots, they will be required to obtain approval for their flights in controlled airspace through the LAANC system. If this sounds to you like the FAA is putting the horse behind the wagon, then I would agree. However, this is the situation that we are dealing with for now. Keep in mind it will only be temporary until the FAA makes LAANC available to all pilots.
However, this is not all. The FAA will also require all hobbyist drone pilots to take an electronic aeronautical knowledge and safety test. And, you will be required to show proof of you successfully passing the exam to any FAA official or police officer upon request.
Keep reading for all the details of these new rules and what it means to you. If you prefer to watch a 12-minute video instead of reading, I suggest you watch the one below from 51drones.
Feature May 17
The FAA dealt a serious blow to hobby drone pilots when they released these new rules that restrict them from flying in controlled airspace over many American cities. Hobby drone pilots were allowed to fly in controlled airspace with a notification to air traffic control, or by flying at an AMA Field.