DJI has pushed a software update to install temporary no-fly zones around several venues in South Korea before this month’s Winter Olympics.
According to a statement from the industry leading manufacturer, “The decision to implement temporary flight restrictions in Pyeongchang and other Korean cities is intended to increase safety and security measures and will be in effect for the duration of the competitive events in February 2018.”
The move follows ramped up security in South Korea. Security officials have had had an eye towards the sky in search of potential threats from across the border. However, DJI has suggested that the no-fly zones are for pilots that lose their way, rather than those seeking to weaponize their drones.
“DJI’s temporary no-fly zones were deployed in order to reduce the likelihood of drone operators inadvertently entering sensitive areas,” said Adam Welsh, head of DJI’s Asia-Pacific Public Policy.
“Safety is DJI’s top priority and we’ve always taken proactive steps to educate our customers to operate within the law and where appropriate, implement temporary no-fly zones during major events. We believe this feature will reduce the potential for drone operations that could inadvertently create safety or security concerns.”
This isn’t the first time DJI has put no-fly zones in place around major sporting events or sensitive locations. Similar measures were set up to ensure there were no drone-related incidents at political party conventions in the United States, the G7 Summit in Japan and the Euro 2016 football tournament in France.
It’s probably for the best that drones stay well away from the Winter Olympics. The last time skiing and drones were combined, it almost ended in a nasty accident. Take a look at this near miss between a drone and Austria’s downhill skier Marcel Hirscher…