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DJI Geo Zone vs. FAA Regulations for Controlled Airspace Around Airports?

MS Coast

That's MS as in Mississippi.
Premium Pilot
Oct 28, 2020
Gulf coast of Mississippi
In an earlier thread, it was said that the DJI Geo Zone is too restrictive compared to the FAA's controlled airspace limits around airports. Using the Portland - Hillsboro Airport as an example, it was said that much of the area in the orange and yellow rings of the DJI Geo Zone restrictions are actually in Class G airspace. (Class G airspace is uncontrolled and open to drone operations.)

But, overlaying the DJI Geo Zone to the FAA's UAS Facility Maps grid for LAANC authorizations shows that all the airspace in the orange and yellow rings is controlled airspace. LAANC authorization is required to operate a drone there. The Geo Zone outer limit and the FAA's controlled airspace circle coincide. Has anyone looked at other airports to see if the same thing shows up?

It looks like DJI allows a drone to enter the yellow Warning Zone outer ring with only a warning, despite the FAA requirement for authorization. Moving closer to the airport, DJI becomes more restrictive in the orange Enhanced Warning Zone, blue Authorization Zone, and red restrictive zone and prohibits flight without authorization.

DJI says that authorization is required for orange, blue, and red zones. Does anyone understand the difference in authorization requirements between the zones or how they're defined?

Grey Geo Zone areas extend beyond LAANC authorization/Warning Zone circle. Has anyone seen warnings or restrictions while flying in the grey areas outside the LAANC circle?

dji.jpg faa.dji.3.jpg

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This is really helpful specially as I am visiting Florida soon. I have done several flights in the Naples area and have also successfully sought LAANC approval to fly up to 100ft under the approach to the Municipal Airport. It’s a very busy place and although I had not done the LAANC process before it worked-not without a lot of toing and froing. Have to say this was in 2023 and I was in contact with wifi from the house we were in so comms with all parties who I needed to contact was no trouble. What would have happened in only cell contact I don’t know!
This might be helpful for anyone who needs to get up to speed on this topic:

Good video. It makes the same major points.

If you plan to fly in or near controlled airspace around airports, check it out in advance and get the required LAANC authorizations and DJI unlocking done before fight day.

You can't rely on DJI's Geo Zone system to prevent your drone from flying in all controlled airspace. In the outer areas of the FAA controlled airspace UAS grid, it may only give you a click-and-go warning. In any case, LAANC authorization is required.
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