A move in the right direction from DJI. But is it enough?

A firmware update will stop users flying close to specified airfields, the list is small and standing out immediately is a lack of large military airbases around the world. You will still be able to fly around them! The firmware also limits the height the Phantom can fly to, another great feature.

All things considered as a first step it has to be commended. Well done DJI.

Full Story Here

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • @Robert:

    I actually didn't target / address you ^^.


    Most of those comfort functions in cars are - well - comfort functions and the user can switch them off! Actually for the same reason that some think why DJI turned dark side... Liability... No car manufacturer would want to risk a lawsuit over an accident caused by e.g. autobraking.

    By the way, in an emergency, I am - in most civilized countries - allowed by law to exceed the speed limit and I don't want to be a car manufacturer if e.g. a child dies because the parents couldn't get it to the doctor in time due to the car refusing to go faster than the speed limit!

    But other "comfort functions" I do find worrying. E.g. the new "automatic emergency call" which is mandatory in cars in the EU soon. The law says it must be included and the customer cannot opt out. But of course, the customers still have the right to do with their property what they want, so in my new car, either me or a trusted car electrician will kill that system because I don't feel the need that the emergency center and - much more important - the corporation which runs the system for my car manufacturer have 24/7 access to my vehicle position.

  • Personally I think it would be better if they limited the flight ceiling within the controller to 400ft above takeoff elevation.  And then lower this value as you get closer to an airport.  What if you wanted to fly 50 feet off the ground and you were 1 mile away?  Safety is upmost importance here, but total limiting use to zero is not good for anyone. 

  • I would run into the problem of being able to fly at all. I am a college student, and I live within 8 miles of an Air Force base, a NASA base, and a international airport. I fly my quadcopter around on campus a lot at night, when no-one is walking about and the ocean breeze is still. This would completely cut out my flying ability.

  • It is only a matter of time before this kind of technology makes its way deeper into our lives. I would imagine that it will soon be impossible to exceed the speed limit in a car. It would be a simple matter govern a car's speed based on its GPS location.

    I am torn on this issue. I absolutely see the logic and drive behind the "Fly Safe" technology, but overall I tend to agree with Stefan.

    When corporations start to police the behavior of their costumers things have taken a dark turn. It is necessary to risk some security to defend basic liberties. Photography is protected partially because it operates as a check on government overreach.

    DJI prohibiting flight over Tiananmen Square is exactly the kind of corporate governance that we need to guard against. There have been a number of historically significant events that have occurred, and been photographed, at airports. Restricting the use of photographic equipment should always be a point of concern.

    I have no intention of flying near an airport, but will not update my DJI firmware on principle. Until their policy changes I will be purchasing competitors flight controllers for any future multirotor build projects.

  • I think its bad that they are doing it.  However it is THEIR product and can do/program/prohibit as they wish.  Its their right to do so.  Legally speaking I think for them it is a good idea.  They market their product to the non experienced, they market their product as no skill or experience needed, go along with that line of thinking and you quickly come to they also happen to attract the people with the LEAST amount of forethought, common sense, and knowledge about UAVs.  So to protect themselves from lawsuits and knee jerk regulation, they decided to try and do the risk assessment and lessening themselves by programming certain parameters into their system.  I personally won't fly a DJI product for that reason.  But 99% of their customers won't care.  They will see it as the company helping them with flying, and keeping them out of trouble.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it in an advertisement soon how the phantom protects yourself from making idiotic flying decisions by not letting you fly it.  Its no different than cars that auto limit their speed, do the braking for you, shift for you, stability control, fly by wire airplanes that change a pilots control inputs if the computer decides its not a good idea etc.  

  • Stefan: Understood.  I never suggested DJI's system was perfect.  This is the beauty of open source.  If a local person says that a certain location is unreasonable, you could request to have it removed.

    Also, the implementation I have proposed even includes a simple parameter that can turn it off.  It would be hidden in the Advanced parameters, but it would be there.  The idea is just to prevent the "plug and play" pilots from flying near an airport because they just don't know any better.

  • Raadi Airfield, near Tartu in Estonia... That one is closed and since 1993 not even an emergency landing strip any more due to bad condition of the runway :D :D :D.

    Need I say more...?

  • They actually have pretty much all Finnish airports with paved runways in the list, even tiny ones with less than 4 operations per day, like Kuusamo and in tiny towns; probably preventing everybody who lives in the town from using drones because it's "near" the airport. Many of those mini-airports are used for events or even by model-flyers...

    That is - sorry to say, but - beyond idiotic and exactly what I was talking about earlier...

    And that's the reason why something like this should NEVER EVER even be thought about by APM developers.

    Obeying the law and playing by the rules is the SOLE responsibility of the operator! Corporations have NO business controlling private people's lives and developers should never make themselves deputies nor practice anticipatory obedience.

  • I don't think they're doing this to big brother their customers. They're doing it to lessen the possibility of lawsuits.  Because it probably will be a DJI product that some moron flies into the left engine of a fully loaded commercial flight killing 150 people. And the deepest pockets get sued and DJI will be the deepest.  This is their way of lessening the chances.

  • Right - Europe, Helsinki Airport... There we have the perfect example... There's actually 2 airports at Helsinki, Vantaa and Malmi. Both are in close vicinity to each other. Vantaa is the big international one. Probably later this year, I'll visit a government agency which is close to Malmi to talk about UAVs and also maybe show some. Of course, then coordinating with Malmi ATC. With DJI that already wouldn't be possible...

    Really, no wonder that humanity gets more and more stupid (not to say idiotic) if more and more, own thinking and common sense is not necessary any longer...

This reply was deleted.