How to Legally Unlock DJI Red No Fly Zones
How to Legally Unlock DJI Red No Fly Zones is a constant question asked on facebook, forums, twitter and emails. Before we start, there is a reason why there is a red NO FLY ZONE, make sure you have a legal reason to unlock one and understand you are taking full responsibility for your actions.
What is a NFZ?
The GEO system provides DJI owners with information that will help them make fly/no fly decisions. The DJI GO4 app combines up-to-date airspace information, a warning flight-restriction system and mechanism for unlocking (self-authorizing).
This is an implementation of what is commonly referred to as “geofencing” and replaces the original DJI “No Fly Zone” system implemented in 2013.
In short, though not a legal requirement, they do a good job of keeping new flyers out of serious trouble.
Why unlock a red NFZ
The world of UAV Drones is constantly being pushed by increasing legislation. Possibilities for drone use are endless but finding a free balance is no easy task.
In the UK red NFZ’z cover all airports, prisons, nuclear power stations and other strategic sites. So why would you need to unlock a red NFZ? There are legitimate reasons to.
- Work. Surveying a roof or part of a media shoot. Remember at the moment in the UK there is no legal restricted airspace if take of weight is under 7kg.
- Could have an airfield as a neighbour. Should you be restricted on where you fly? Drone flyers are air users after all. With the right communication procedure in place with the local ATC flying in around your property should be possible.
- There is no legal reason why you should be prohibited from flying in that area. Flight maps can be out of date, temporary restrictions can be lifted or, as with sports stadiums, they are not alway full of people. there are specific times when there is no reason for the red NFZ.
How to Unlock DJI Red No Fly Zones then?
Email DJI (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the follow information:
- Location co-ordinates of the redone you need unlocked. Make sure the point is as central as possible in the red NFZ.
- The radius of the of area you need unlocked. Why? because if you take off in an unlocked NFZ, you can’t fly out of the unlocked zone. Imagine a nice tracking shot of car driving down a runway, if you haven’t opened up enough of the area, you DJI craft is going to come to a sudden stop & miss the shot. Pre-planning is king.
- The height required. Default will be 400ft/120m, but in the UK there is no set max altitude for sub 7kg craft as long as you can keep visual line of sight unless you are a commercial operator, then you need to adhere to your PfCO.
- Permission. this will be in the form of either your CAA PfCO issued in the UK, other regulator permission, land owner consent or email from the controller of the NFZ (ATC, Prison office, base commander etc).
- Dates you need red No Fly Zones open from/to. Its not possible to leave open indefinitely.
- Proof of who you are. This will be in the form picture I.D (Passport, Drivers licence etc.)
- Email address linked to your DJI GO 4 app.
- Flight controller ID number (remote controller of DJI craft you are flying). This can be found when the craft is on, DJI GO app open, go to settings/about.
Depending on time of day and where in the world you live, you will receive a return email from email@example.com. It will confirm the unlock request details, check all is correct. Attached will be a disclaimer. Read through carefully what you are agreeing to, the liability you are taking on by unlocking the No Fly Zones. Understand the risks before signing
Email back the disclaimer along with any further requested information. By return you will receive the unlock confirmation email. Assuming you are prepared, you can get a red NFZ unlocked in under 2 hours, I would play-safe, allow 48 hours and avoid Friday /Monday requests if you can.
This the the most crucial part of the unlock procedure, make sure you read the email & follow the instructions. you need to log into your DJI GO 4 app and sync you details in the flight unlock section BEFORE you go to the red NFZ you want to fly in.
To complete the unlock, you need to physically be in the red NFZ , go to the synced unlock, and slide toggle over. Some form of internet connection will be required.
And that is your three step guide to “How to Legally Unlock DJI Red No Fly Zones”. Alway important to understand why there is a red NFZ and the liability responsibility we have to fly in a safe manner & no endangering people, property & other air users.
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