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Airport GEO Zones

To ensure public airspace safety, DJI sets GEO Zones around airports to regulate UAV flights.

*The illustration above depicts GEO Zones around an airport. Airport GEO Zone types and sizes vary depending on their location and local regulations.

  • Restricted Zone

    Aircraft cannot fly in this zone, based on the CAAC original airports clearance protection area. The CAAC area boundary extends outward by 100m to form the Restricted Zone.

  • Altitude Zones

    The zones where flight height is restricted, which is based on the CAAC original airports clearance protection area, each side of the runway extends 20km, each end point of the runway extends 10km, forming a rectangular area of about 20km*40km.

  • Compatible Products

    Spark, M200 series, Mavic Pro, Inspire 2, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, and Phantom 4 Advanced.

**The illustration above depicts GEO Zones around an airport. Airport GEO Zone types and sizes vary depending on their location and local regulations.

  • Restricte Zone

    Restricted Zones around airports are delineated by three circles. One circle is centered on the middle of the runway, while two additional circles extend from each end of the runway.

  • Altitude Zone

    An Altitude Zone is imposed within an additional, larger circle. This circle's diameter is calculated using a 20 km horizontal distance and 10 km vertical distance from the center of the runway. The edges of a rectangle formed by these two distances determine the diameter of the Altitude Zone.

  • Compatible Products

    Phantom 3series, M100 series, M600 series, Inspire 1 series .

Airport GEO Zones

To ensure public airspace safety, DJI sets GEO Zones around airports to regulate UAV flights.

* Above are regulations of airport GEO zones, the division of GEO zones varies according to actual airport environment.

  • Restricted Zone

    An area surrounded by two arcs centering two end points of an airfield runway, with radius of 5 km and included angle of 35°, and two straight lines 2.6 km away from both sides of the airfield runway.

  • Altitude Zones

    10 km from the two end points of the airport flight restricted zone and 3.4 km from both sides of the airport flight restricted zone form a rectangular area with 30 km of length and 12 km of width. In this rectangular area, flight height must be kept under 60 meters.

  • Compatible Products

    Spark, M200 series, Mavic series, Inspire 2, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced

Other GEO Zones

To avoid potential flight risks, 100-meter Permanent Restricted Zones are implemented around sensitive locations, including government buildings, prisons, and nuclear power plants. To ensure public safety, large gatherings, important conferences, and disaster relief areas are set as Temporary GEO Zones for a period before and after these events.

Flying in GEO Zones

When a DJI UAV flies near a GEO Zone, a warning will pop up in the DJI GO or DJI GO 4 app. Read these warnings carefully and react accordingly.

  • If a DJI UAV is flying towards an Altitude Zone at an altitude that is higher than the restricted altitude, it will automatically decelerate and hover in place. If its altitude is lower than the restricted altitude, it will not be able to fly any higher than the restricted altitude after it flies in to the Altitude zone. If the UAV flies into an Altitude Zone without any GPS signal, it will automatically descend to the restricted altitude after it regains GPS signal.

  • DJI UAVs cannot take off in Restricted Zones. When a UAV flies near the boundary of a Restricted Zone, it will automatically decelerate and hover in place. If it flies into a restricted zone without GPS signal, it will automatically land when it regains GPS signal.

The GEO system is a best-in-class geospatial information system that provides DJI flyers with information that will help them make smart decisions about where and when to fly. It combines up-to-date airspace information, a warning and flight-restriction system, a mechanism for unlocking (self-authorizing) aerial system flights in locations where flight is permitted under certain conditions, and a minimally-invasive accountability system for those decisions. This is an implementation of what is commonly referred to as “geofencing” and replaces our first-generation “No Fly Zone” geofencing system that DJI invented and implemented in its multirotors in 2013.
All current DJI aircraft use GEO System. Certain older DJI products added GEO System with firmware and DJI GO updates. GEO System is works with the Phantom 3 series, Phantom 4 series, Inspire 1 series, Inspirse 2, M100, M200 series, M600 series, Mavic Pro series, and Spark. More products will use GEO System in the future.
The latest information on temporary flight restrictions in the location of a planned flight will be sent to DJI flyers via the DJI GO app.
Some areas will be designated as Warning locations to make operators aware of potential concerns that are not primarily safety-related (for example, a protected wildlife area). Other areas, such as those surrounding airports, will be Authorization Zones, where the aerial system can’t be flown without taking additional steps to “unlock” the Zone using a verified account. The remaining category will be Restricted Zones where the aerial system will not operate and no unlocking is possible for security and safety reasons, such as Washington, D.C. and the inner-most areas at busy airports.
Our primary focus is on aviation safety and national security. DJI will include airports, prohibited and restricted airspace, national security sites, prisons, and power plants, among other locations. Additionally, when a user is connected to the internet, GEO will provide live guidance on temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) to inform users and help prevent inadvertent flight, including TFRs relating to forest fires, major league sporting events, and other changing conditions.
In an Enhanced Warning area, you will be prompted by GEO at the time of flight to unlock the zone using the same steps as in an Authorization Zone, but you do not require a verified account or an internet connection at the time of your flight.
No. The GEO system is advisory only. Each operator 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. Also, to the extent understanding the applicable regulations involves interpreting statutory or regulatory language, operators must make their own interpretation, or seek guidance from regulators or an attorney. We expect to continue to work collaboratively with aviation authorities around the world to determine what kind of guidance to aerial system operators would be most effective at promoting safe and responsible flying.
In Authorization Zones such as the one you mention, an operator simply needs a verified DJI account and uses the DJI GO application to unlock the area. Making sure that you are authorized is your responsibility.
By providing a credit card, debit card, or mobile phone number. DJI will not collect or store this information. We may add other verification methods in the future.
The GEO system will provide the same information to every operator. We understand that regulations may vary depending on whether your operation is commercial, recreational, educational, humanitarian, or governmental. DJI is, by far, the most popular brand in all categories, which is why our system will allow for flexible unlocking based on operator judgment. Also, a multirotor used on Sunday for recreation might be used on Wednesday for business. Because the main functionality of geofencing is to provide information and assist in preventing unintended operations in areas that raise concerns, the system generally has been designed with newcomer recreational operators in mind. Commercial operators are generally expected to research and know about restrictions and conditions that may apply to their operations. The unlocking mechanism allows each user to make an appropriate individual operational decision independent of the guidance that is provided by DJI.
We are expanding the number and types of areas that are included, but also providing a self-authorizing unlock feature. That means, by simply using a verified account, you will actually be able to fly in more locations than you can today under our current system, including indoor locations that happen to be near airports. You may need to complete a few additional steps, but we think that extra work helps increase awareness of safety concerns. If you aren’t able to unlock an area, it may be because your location is particularly sensitive (such as the area near Washington, D.C.), or because the regulations have changed.
DJI will create an error-reporting system. We want our new system to be as accurate and helpful as possible. The unlocking mechanism should allow you to fly in these locations, based on your own judgment, while DJI evaluates your error report.
No. There will be no charge to upgrade to the new GEO system, assuming your DJI equipment is compatible with the upgrade. Verifying your account with a credit card will not result in a charge. The credit card is used only as a credential to verify the account. Your carrier’s standard text message rates apply to verification that uses SMS or text messaging communications.
We have developed a Flight Planner tool that allows you to unlock Authorization Zones in advance of your operation. See the Flight Planner page for more detail.
Initially, we are starting with North America and Europe. We expect to add other regions in the near future, and will make announcements. Also, airport locations in the existing system will be updated elsewhere worldwide, even in locations where GEO is not implemented at first.
No. 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 flyers is required in order to create a framework for safe aerial system operations.
In general, not unless there is a specific reason to. In the event of an aviation safety or law enforcement investigation that compels us to disclose information, our verification partner may provide information about the credit card or mobile phone number used to verify the DJI account that unlocked an Authorization Zone at the location, date, and time in question. This creates a path to accountability in the event of an incident without requiring burdensome up-front collection of personal information, and we feel strikes the right balance at this time. Our observation is that the vast, vast majority of aerial system operators are responsible community citizens who follow the rules as well as common sense, and therefore it is only necessary to create an accountability mechanism when the operation occurs in a location that raises an aviation safety or security concern. We think our customers deserve the benefit of the doubt, and an accountability system that is minimally invasive.
No. Based on years of actual customer user experience, we feel that mandatory geofencing that unconditionally restricts device functionality based on geography alone is the wrong approach in most cases. This technology is being used by a wide variety of operators, who have differing types of authorization that can also vary by date and time. In virtually every area that might be a good candidate for a geofence, we have encountered authorized operators worldwide already engaged in compelling applications. Restricting the use of aerial system technology based on geographic location alone is not a good solution to the concerns that have recently been raised, and will hobble the beneficial future uses of a technology that is still in its infancy.
No. AirMap is our airspace data provider for information such as airport locations and TFRs. The public site at AirMap.io is for its own demonstration purposes and is not representative of what data is used by GEO or how DJI has implemented that data. DJI may also add to the data provided by AirMap. To see a representation of the locations included in GEO you should consult this map, not AirMap.io.

Important Airspace Notes – DJI GEO System

DJI created a comprehensive framework for GEO, allowing it to determine which geospatial locations would be categorized as Warning, Authorization, or Restricted Zones. The following information details how DJI categorized locations in order to further enhance your own operational decision-making. This document is not legal advice and does not substitute for your own interpretation of any legal requirements.

Implied 400-foot AGL altitude

All information displayed by the GEO system assumes that your aerial system is being operated at or below 400 feet above ground level (AGL). It reflects a two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional airspace. At higher altitudes, airspace classifications may differ from classifications at or below 400 feet.

“Airports” in the United States

The FAA has, since at least August 2014, issued guidance that model aircraft (recreational multirotor) operations are permitted within five miles of an airport provided the operator “contact[s] the airport or control tower.” See What Can I Do With My Model Aircraft? available at https://www.faa.gov/uas/publications/model_aircraft_operators (dated August 14, 2014; visited November 27, 2015). This guidance is expressly based on the 2012 Federal Modernization and Reform Act statute (“FMRA”) Pub. L. 112-95 Section 336. This guidance raises the question of what types of “airports” are contemplated.

An important point of reference seems to be FMRA Section 334, which sets out parameters for operation of certain public unmanned aircraft systems, including a discussion about the operations of those that weigh 4.4 pounds or less. In this subsection, Congress contemplated that such UAS operate “outside of 5 statute miles from any airport, heliport, seaplane base, spaceport, or other location with aviation activities.” Congress, within this statute, specifically used the word “heliport” when it intended to refer to a heliport. Likewise, Congress describes “seaplane base” and “other locations with aviation activities.” This is in contrast to Section 336 concerning model aircraft which refers only to “an airport,” a seemingly far narrower concept than the enumerated all-inclusive list in Section 334.

For this reason, we have not categorized heliports, seaplane bases, private airstrips, and other similar locations as Authorization Zones. GEO will in some cases provide a warning to the user when operating in the vicinity of these locations, as a precaution, and some of these locations may be displayed on the map in DJI GO for informational purposes with an icon. Airports areas categorized as Authorization Zones and Restricted Zones in the United States include public airports, those that have a control tower, and those that have a published instrument flight procedure. Please always check official sources and charts and come to your own decision about how to address any nearby location with aviation activities.

Controlled Airspace (Class B, C, D, E) in the United States

In an October 27, 2015 Air Traffic Organization Policy notice, FAA indicated that "Model aircraft operators are not required to consider the different classes of airspace as long as they comply with the requirements listed in the AC 91-57A, which states that hobbyist UAS operators provide notice to the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) if the operation will take place within 5 miles of an airport."

Additionally, FMRA is silent with respect to airspace classifications, referring only to a five-mile distance from “an airport.” For these reasons, DJI has indicated a five-statute-mile Warning Zone around listed airports, as well as smaller Authorization Zones and Restricted Zones as you get closer to the center of busy airports. Controlled airspace locations (Class B, C, D and E) have been categorized as Warning Zones. When near these locations, you may receive a warning message. To enhance clarity and prevent duplication, these areas may not appear on the map in DJI GO. Please always check official sources and charts, and come to your own decision about whether and how to operate in controlled airspace locations.

The Washington D.C. FRZ and SFRA

The 15-mile-radius Washington D.C. Flight Restricted Zone is categorized as a Restricted Zone in GEO. The 30-mile-radius SFRA is not a flight-prohibited area but instead involves special training and procedures by manned aircraft pilots. The regulation concerning the SFRA does not refer to model aircraft or unmanned aircraft systems even though it specifically references ultralight vehicles. See 14 CFR 93.339. There are long-standing model aircraft club locations within the SFRA. We are also aware of at least one DJI customer who has received an FAA certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) for operations within the SFRA. The SFRA, excluding the FRZ, is approximately 2,120 square miles in area and includes many indoor locations where operations do not raise a concern. For these reasons, the SFRA is currently categorized in GEO as an Authorization Zone. As with all operations, it is the user’s responsibility to obtain any required authorization and to comply with any applicable regulatory requirements.

GEO provides advisory guidance only

The GEO system is for informational purposes only and is not considered an official aeronautical source. In some cases, for technical reasons or out of an abundance of caution, the boundaries of geospatial locations in GEO may differ from the official version. It is the responsibility of the operator to consult official sources and exercise reasonable judgment when evaluating whether or not it is safe or legal to operate an aerial system at a given time or place.