DJI have announced the official launch of their DJI Geo Unlock Process upgrade 2.0. Their geospatial system has been specifically designed to help users conduct safe flight, not only for themselves but for the general public as well.
We first used this DJI unlock process in February 2017 when it was in Beta phase, for a drone survey flight to inspect a hanger at Newquay Airport. There was no map and you had to put in accurate coordinates of take off and landing points or the drone would not fly.
The DJI Website page for unlocking states:
DJI are committed to helping maintain a safe airspace for all their uses and the general public. Their GEO System has helped customers to make smarter decisions, and prevent flight in locations that may raise concerns. However, we understand that in some cases, a user may have special authorization to operate in a restricted Zone.
DJI have upgraded the Geo Unlock process in June 2018 within the DJI Go App. This enables users to operate freely in restricted zones, such as airports, power plants and prisons, if they have the necessary and relevant permissions.
The Four Levels of Zone
These zones appear in Red on the DJI Go App and flight is prevented within the Zone. It can be unlocked by contacting [email protected]
These zones appear in Yellow and flight is limited by default. It can be unlocked by authorised users using a DJI verified Account.
These zones appear in Green and you will be prompted at the time of flight, to unlock the zone using the same steps as the authorization zone, but you do not require a DJI verified account.
Enhanced Warning Zones
These zones show in green but they may not always appear on the DJ Go App. Example A protected wildlife area.
The upgrades are expected to enhance the user’s experience with the following updates:
- Shorter response time
- Streamlined application process
- Improved customer experience
In addition, enterprise users can now apply for multiple aircraft unlocking with just the one request submission. You simply have to submit each aircraft’s model information, flight controller serial number and DJI account on the application webpage.
What is DJI’s Geospatial System
DJI’s Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) is a best-in-class geospatial information system providing DJI users with up-to-date guidance on areas where flight may be limited due to safety concerns or regulations.
This provides DJI users with information that will help them make smart decisions about where and when to fly.
The GEO system is advisory only. Each user is responsible for checking official sources and determining what laws or regulations might apply to his or her flight. In some instances, DJI has selected widely-recommended general parameters (such as a 1.5 mile radius at airports) without making any determination of whether this guidance matches regulations that may apply specifically to you.
This corresponds with the new UK drone laws introduced in July 2018.
DJI have stated that they hope these improvements will allow more authorised organisations to better incorporate drone technology into work in times and places of need.
Our Latest use of the DJI GEO Unlock Process
We used the geo unlock Process at the end of July 2018 to send a custom unlocking request to [email protected] to unlock the restricted zone around Reading Prison. We applied to unlock the zone on two drones for a period of 10 days. Here is one of the aerial photography images.