DSR wanted to find out the capabilities of the unlocking feature for professional drone pilots and also pass on the tips we gleamed including which DJI drones are supported, what info you need to submit and how long the process takes.

DJI LogoAs a way of an introduction here is DJI’s definition of the No Fly Zone feature:

‘DJI’s No Fly Zone (NFZ) feature can help you avoid inadvertent operation in locations that could raise safety or security concerns, such as near airports. NFZ will in many cases warn you about these areas if you fly towards them, or try to take-off within them. In certain locations, the device will automatically be prevented from take-off, or if already in flight towards the location, will pause at the boundary and not enter. The NFZ system, which is an informational feature, does not include all areas that might raise concerns. Any map provided by DJI is for advisory purposes only. It is always the user’s responsibility to determine what laws or regulations apply to any operation, and to obtain any required government authorizations.’

DJI introduced geo-fencing in 2013 – the technology uses GPS location signals to block its unmanned aircrafts flying close to airports, sporting events and other restricted zones.

There are circumstances however when an authorised professional drone pilot might require flying their drone in a safe manner within a restricted area. For example, a professional drone pilot might need to undertake an inspection on a passenger aircraft or within a building at an airport. Similarly for example, an inspection at a football stadium when a sporting fixture is not happening.

In personal communication with Drone Safe Register DJI said they are pleased to work with authorized operators to enable them to fly in locations that may be considered sensitive.

Firstly, if you are authorized to fly in Restricted Zones, you must provide DJI with all the below materials and information. They will help you to unlock the restriction with a custom solution.

You can email the DJI Flysafe team on support@dji.com

You will need to email and supply the below information:

  • A written statement that they are legally allowed to fly in the intended area.
  • A form of positive identification of the person signing the statement must be provided
  • The attached link disclaimer must be signed, confirming that you are fully responsible for your flights.
  • The attached link non-disclosure agreement concerning the custom software must be signed
Disclaimer PDF
Non Disclosure PDF

In addition you should provide in the email the following info:

  1. Flight Controller’s serial number (This starts with 0) (It can be found in DJI Go app’s About page)
  2. The required Unlocking zone details including location longitude, latitude and the radius. Please provide the info in the following format e.g.: longitude: 1.123456; latitude: 1.123456, radius: 500m
  3. Unlock Period. For example from March 24th 2016 to April 24th 2016
  4. Your DJI ID email

Make sure that all of the above information is attached at the same time to expedite processing. If you leave any of the items out, your request may be delayed.

Once all the correct information is forwarded to DJI, they will unlock the aircraft from their servers as soon as possible and offer you a custom IOS app to fly it. Usually, it will take 1-2 business days to process the request and do the unlock.   That’s is, if all the documents and correct information forwarded to DJI. In certain urgent cases DJI can request their engineers to quicken this process.

Please note the DJI Flysafe team are based in Hong Kong with a difference of +8 hours GMT. Their Hong Kong office hours are: Monday to Friday , 9:00 to 18:00.

The Flysafe team were great to communicate with and very clear that the flysafe team want to help professional DJI drone users and quickly.

FlySafe Geo Zone Map