DJI is working hard to prevent drone flyers from doing stupid things. The FAA has recently implemented a registration system and has put out a number of releases regarding where drones can fly and other requirements. However, users, even educated users, violate those rules and regulations. It is not good for the industry and DJI’s GEO system, now in public beta, is intended to help insure compliance by programmatically preventing drones from flying into zones where they don’t belong while also providing flexibility to override under certain situations. It is a flight planning tool that assists drone operators in determining where and when they can fly.
DJI has released Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) system to provide DJI pilots “with up-to-date information on locations where flight may raise regulatory, safety, or security concerns.” The system which is currently available in beta for Android users has three zone categories:
- 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.
- 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. Example Restricted Zone: Washington D.C. If you believe you have authorization to operate in a Restricted Zone, please email@example.com
DJI notes that the system is “advisory only.”
While the system will assist drone operators in complying with FAA regulations DJI notes in its FAQ that this was not developed in response to or is it related to the FAA registration initiative. DJI states:
This is an unrelated industry-led approach to operator education, responsibility, and accountability, and has been under development since the summer. DJI will not require governmental registration in order to use GEO. If and when a registration system is implemented for aerial systems, we will evaluate whether it may be used to enhance the functionality of GEO. We do not feel that disclosure of the personal identification of pilots is required in order to create a framework for safe aerial system operations.
You can get the beta and learn more about the system here.