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Summary:

The change coincides with the reveal of the Vision+, which improves on DJI’s existing Phantom Vision quadcopter.

The Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter. Photo courtesy of DJI
photo: DJI

While the issue of whether the FAA has control over drone regulations has gone back and forth, an advisory issue in 1981 has stuck: don’t fly drones above 400 feet or near airports.

DJI, maker of the popular Phantom line of consumer quadcopter drones, just issued a firmware update that makes the airport rule unavoidable. Drones are now programmed with airport boundaries, meaning they won’t cross into forbidden airspace even if directed to.

Examples of no fly zones in the Bay Area. Photo courtesy of DJI/Google Maps.

Examples of no fly zones in the Bay Area. Photo courtesy of DJI/Google Maps.

Consumer drones have stirred controversy for their potential to create danger in crowded public spaces or protected areas like airports. DJI’s inclusion of no-fly zones is just one example of how drone makers can prevent users from flying dangerously.

The firmware update applies to existing DJI Phantom drones and the new Phantom Vision+, which was revealed Monday at the NAB conference in Las Vegas. The Vision+ costs $100 more than the Vision, with added features like stability in winds up to 25 miles per hour, higher speed and farther WiFi connectivity.

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  2. How do airplanes land if these are ‘no fly zones’?

    Answer is they are not, they are controlled airspace and your map misses at least two off.

    Poor reporting and not what I expect from GO

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  3. Savage Nation Sunday, April 13, 2014

    Does their “update” (downgrade) make low level flight under FAA jurisdiction impossible as well, or is the Chinese company smart enough to follow the rules and not bureaucrat myths?

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