DJI said on Tuesday that a new version of its drone control software to be released in December will allow pilots to fly in restricted areas after they have self-certified they have permission to do so. One of the leading manufacturers of consumer drones is loosening the control it has over whether the craft can take off in restricted areas, such as near airports. Shulman provided several examples where drones were successfully and safely being used by airlines and flying clubs close to airports with permission of the airport operator and by emergency services in natural disaster areas covered by temporary flight restrictions.
- At present, DJI’s software simply blocks the drone from taking off if it’s found to be within a restricted area such as within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of an airport.
- Brendan Shulman, vice president of policy and legal affairs at DJI, speaks at the Drone World Expo in San Jose, California, on Nov. 17, 2015. Should the flight prove problematic and law enforcement becomes involved, the information could be turned over, said Shulman.
- In addition to providing a new level of freedom for pilots, the software also brings an additional level of sophistication to flight restriction warnings.