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LAANC, DJI Geozones, argis map, and small airports

dwolfe002

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Ok, how to explain this. First, I am recreational only. I have this place I want to fly at to get a few minutes of footage. The problem being that it is right at the end of a blue geozone (bowtie)4.5 miles from the airport. I thought LAANC would solve some of my problems but the airport, Michael J. Smith Field, doesn't appear to have any LAANC coverage. No red or green squares on the argis map as of today. The airspace in that area on the argis map says E3 on the top header and E5 down in the details so I figure that means it is E5. That's good, I guess, but like I said DJI has a blue bowtie over the area. I finally got access once to fly through DJI through the custom authorization but that ended in a cluster $*&(. No internet at flying site). So I guess my question is: Does anyone think DJI will remove the geozones or change them in another way at the time LAANC becomes available. I don't see any use for them except for markers where you may need LAANC access but what happens if there is none available? Will DJI regulate my airspace even though LAANC says it's good to 700ft?
 

brett8883

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Ok, how to explain this. First, I am recreational only. I have this place I want to fly at to get a few minutes of footage. The problem being that it is right at the end of a blue geozone (bowtie)4.5 miles from the airport. I thought LAANC would solve some of my problems but the airport, Michael J. Smith Field, doesn't appear to have any LAANC coverage. No red or green squares on the argis map as of today. The airspace in that area on the argis map says E3 on the top header and E5 down in the details so I figure that means it is E5. That's good, I guess, but like I said DJI has a blue bowtie over the area. I finally got access once to fly through DJI through the custom authorization but that ended in a cluster $*&(. No internet at flying site). So I guess my question is: Does anyone think DJI will remove the geozones or change them in another way at the time LAANC becomes available. I don't see any use for them except for markers where you may need LAANC access but what happens if there is none available? Will DJI regulate my airspace even though LAANC says it's good to 700ft?
First off as of today LAANC is only available to part 107 pilots, this is suppose to change as soon as the end of July 2019.

Secondly, as you have figured out even when you CAN use LAANC this just fullfills your legal obligation but dies mean your aircraft will actually fly there you have to get DJI to unlock it for you. Now there are multiple ways of doing this depending on the color of the zone. For a blue zone you can either do an instant self unlock which depending can be done within DJI Go 4 as long as there is internet access. Instant self-unlocks are good for 24 hours.

The other way you can do it is by going to DJI - The World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters for Aerial Photography while you do have internet and download the unlock code to DJI Go 4 and then transfer to the drone via the remote. This type of unlock is good for 48 hours.

Note: Because DJI likes to make things as difficult as possible for their customers the above website will not work on mobile browsers. You have to visit the site while using a laptop or desktop computer. This is presumably so DJI can log your IP address because they are creepy like that. They might ask for a credit card or mobile phone number as well so they can log your identity.
 

Dale D

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Wow! I am impressed. I typed in the above link and it took me right to the Self-Unlocking page for DJI. Yes, they do request a credit card or cell phone number but say they do not keep the information. I really am not interested in challenging a NFZ. There are so many beautiful places to fly and film without risking striking a plane or bringing out the FAA to my door.
 

dwolfe002

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First off as of today LAANC is only available to part 107 pilots, this is suppose to change as soon as the end of July 2019.

Secondly, as you have figured out even when you CAN use LAANC this just fullfills your legal obligation but dies mean your aircraft will actually fly there you have to get DJI to unlock it for you. Now there are multiple ways of doing this depending on the color of the zone. For a blue zone you can either do an instant self unlock which depending can be done within DJI Go 4 as long as there is internet access. Instant self-unlocks are good for 24 hours.

The other way you can do it is by going to DJI - The World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters for Aerial Photography while you do have internet and download the unlock code to DJI Go 4 and then transfer to the drone via the remote. This type of unlock is good for 48 hours.

Note: Because DJI likes to make things as difficult as possible for their customers the above website will not work on mobile browsers. You have to visit the site while using a laptop or desktop computer. This is presumably so DJI can log your IP address because they are creepy like that. They might ask for a credit card or mobile phone number as well so they can log your identity.
So I guess nothing will change for me. I kind of understood it before. It seemed like DJI was trying to stay ahead of the curve, but now with LAANC coming out later this month, I really don't understand DJI being able to control where I fly when there appears to be no problem with the U.S. rules. I don't have any problem following the rules, but now it seems like a foreign country is deciding that I have to follow rules that don't apply in my case. If the FAA doesn't care if I fly in that area within their rules why should DJI care.
 
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pmshop

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Small municipal airports that will not have LAANC for quite some time, you contact the airport manager just as before.
That is in the new FAA rules.
DJI will unlock the "bow tie" for you no problem.
Just use the self unlock here - no need for a credit card.
They just need a phone number to set the unlock to your DJI account.
 

dwolfe002

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Wow! I am impressed. I typed in the above link and it took me right to the Self-Unlocking page for DJI. Yes, they do request a credit card or cell phone number but say they do not keep the information. I really am not interested in challenging a NFZ. There are so many beautiful places to fly and film without risking striking a plane or bringing out the FAA to my door.
Yes, there are plenty of places to fly and if there are no U.S. restrictions, I would like to fly in one of them. No risk in striking a plane unless he is flying at 150 ft. or less but even if that's true there are more problems to worry about than my drone. I have checked the FAA site for the area that I WANT to fly and there is a 700 ft. ceiling making it a perfectly legal place to fly under UAS rules by the FAA without any clearance from the airport or the FAA or anyone else. But, as things stand right now, DJI will decide whether I can fly there. The only time I applied for a unlock from DJI was to make sure it would work as stated. I went through a custom unlock because there is no internet connection at the site. It did work until I returned home and the M2P wouldn't fly at my house which is under no restrictions. Took a week or more to get it straightened out talking with DJI everyday. I was just hoping something would change on the DJI side to allow me to fly in places that have no restrictions from the FAA.
 
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sar104

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If the Class E airspace is anything other than E2 then, under both recreational and Part 107 rules, flight is permitted by the FAA. The DJI Geo system includes more extensive warning zones around airports that do not prevent you from flying, do not require FAA authorization of any kind, but do require self-unlocking via your DJI account.
 

dwolfe002

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Small municipal airports that will not have LAANC for quite some time, you contact the airport manager just as before.
That is in the new FAA rules.
DJI will unlock the "bow tie" for you no problem.
Just use the self unlock here - no need for a credit card.
They just need a phone number to set the unlock to your DJI account.
The self unlock would be nice but there is no internet connection where I want to fly, therefore I have to use custom unlocking but that has proven to be a problem.
 

dwolfe002

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If the Class E airspace is anything other than E2 then, under both recreational and Part 107 rules, flight is permitted by the FAA. The DJI Geo system includes more extensive warning zones around airports that do not prevent you from flying, do not require FAA authorization of any kind, but do require self-unlocking via your DJI account.
Exactly what I am saying! So, if my understanding is correct, there should be no restrictions imposed by DJI with the introduction of LAANC. I understand they may have wanted to make their Geo System as robust as possible in the beginning but now, with the aid of the Argis maps, I find that DJI is the only one that requires me to do anything in the area. That unlocking has caused me problems in the past (see post #6). I was just wondering if DJI may now relax their zones with the introduction of LAANC since it is a legal place to fly without any authorizations besides theirs.
 
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brett8883

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Exactly what I am saying! So, if my understanding is correct, there should be no restrictions imposed by DJI with the introduction of LAANC. I understand they may have wanted to make their Geo System as robust as possible in the beginning but now, with the aid of the Argis maps, I find that DJI is the only one that requires me to do anything in the area. That unlocking has caused me problems in the past (see post #6). I was just wondering if DJI may now relax their zones with the introduction of LAANC since it is a legal place to fly without any authorizations besides theirs.
Not a chance. DJI doesn’t care about the laws, their GeoZone system is based off what they feel is safe not what the FAA considers safe.
 

sar104

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Exactly what I am saying! So, if my understanding is correct, there should be no restrictions imposed by DJI with the introduction of LAANC. I understand they may have wanted to make their Geo System as robust as possible in the beginning but now, with the aid of the Argis maps, I find that DJI is the only one that requires me to do anything in the area. That unlocking has caused me problems in the past (see post #6). I was just wondering if DJI may now relax their zones with the introduction of LAANC since it is a legal place to fly without any authorizations besides theirs.
DJI introduced the Geo system to try to get ahead of the inevitable repeal of 336 and the introduction of airspace restrictions. Even now that LAANC is becoming more widespread and available to hobbyists there are still potential hazards, for example around airports in Class G airspace, so I would expect DJI to keep some form of warning zones that go beyond LAANC restrictions. But note that these Geo "warning" and "authorization" zones don't require any external authorization - they are just acknowledgements that you understand and accept responsibility for flying there.
 

dwolfe002

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DJI introduced the Geo system to try to get ahead of the inevitable repeal of 336 and the introduction of airspace restrictions. Even now that LAANC is becoming more widespread and available to hobbyists there are still potential hazards, for example around airports in Class G airspace, so I would expect DJI to keep some form of warning zones that go beyond LAANC restrictions. But note that these Geo "warning" and "authorization" zones don't require any external authorization - they are just acknowledgements that you understand and accept responsibility for flying there.
I can understand a Geo "warning" saying not to fly above 700 ft. and allowing you to take responsibility, but to make the area a "NFZ" in Class E3 airspace with, I guess a local designation of E5, seems to be a little much. It does require authorization by DJI through the custom unlock process and like I said the only time I have done that, I wasn't able to fly for over a week in non-geofenced areas. I have had warning zones pop up when I go to certain spots and that was easy. Just accept responsibility for the flight. Hopefully they will make it a warning zone instead of a NFZ.
 
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sar104

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I can understand a Geo "warning" saying not to fly above 700 ft. and allowing you to take responsibility, but to make the area a "NFZ" in Class E3 airspace with, I guess a local designation of E5, seems to be a little much. It does require authorization by DJI through the custom unlock process and like I said the only time I have done that, I wasn't able to fly for over a week in non-geofenced areas. I have had warning zones pop up when I go to certain spots and that was easy. Just accept responsibility for the flight. Hopefully they will make it a warning zone instead of a NFZ.
OK - you need to clarify - what kind of geo zone are you referring to?

77372
 

dwolfe002

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OK - you need to clarify - what kind of geo zone are you referring to?

View attachment 77372

It is in the very end of a blue authorization zone on the DJI GO 4 app. Right where the bowtie flares out at the end. In the Argis map it says E3, 700ft, with a local designation of E5.

Class E3 Airspace

Identifier


Name

BEAUFORT CLASS E5

Description of the Upper Limit Value

AA

Upper Limit Value

-9998

Upper Limit Unit of Measure


Code for the Upper Limit


Description of the Lower Limit Value


Lower Limit Value

700

Lower Limit Unit of Measure

FT

Code for the Lower Limit

SFC

From <https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c2e4406710048e19806ebf6a06754ad>


E5-Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet Or More Above The Surface Of The Earth

Co-ordinates are 34deg 47' 16" N 76deg 37' 00" W

Sorry, I don't have the pictures from the DJI GO 4 app and don't have access to my drone right now.
 

sar104

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It is in the very end of a blue authorization zone on the DJI GO 4 app. Right where the bowtie flares out at the end. In the Argis map it says E3, 700ft, with a local designation of E5.

Class E3 Airspace

Identifier

Name

BEAUFORT CLASS E5

Description of the Upper Limit Value

AA

Upper Limit Value

-9998

Upper Limit Unit of Measure

Code for the Upper Limit

Description of the Lower Limit Value

Lower Limit Value

700

Lower Limit Unit of Measure

FT

Code for the Lower Limit

SFC

From <https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c2e4406710048e19806ebf6a06754ad>


E5-Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet Or More Above The Surface Of The Earth

Co-ordinates are 34deg 47' 16" N 76deg 37' 00" W

Sorry, I don't have the pictures from the DJI GO 4 app and don't have access to my drone right now.
OK - so an authorization zone is not a NFZ - you just acknowledge and self-unlock.
 

kadras

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Here's the map. You are in a blue DJI Authorization Zone or orange Enhanced Warning Zone per the DJI list posted above. It has nothing to do with LAANC or the FAA Class E airspace (the class number 3 or 5 is irrelevant). Your problem is with DJI and its invented zones for your "our" safety. Is DJI going to change these after implementation of LAANC for recreational flyers? Only DJI knows, my guess the answer is no.

77374
 

dwolfe002

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Here's the map. You are in a blue DJI Authorization Zone or orange Enhanced Warning Zone per the DJI list posted above. It has nothing to do with LAANC or the FAA Class E airspace (the class number 3 or 5 is irrelevant). Your problem is with DJI and its invented zones for your "our" safety. Is DJI going to change these after implementation of LAANC for recreational flyers? Only DJI knows, my guess the answer is no.

View attachment 77374
@sar104
My remote controller said NFZ when I powered up the RC and M2P and would not allow me to take off. I was very close to the right hand corner of the Hwy 70 sign in the upper right corner.

Thanks @kadras
 

sar104

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@sar104
My remote controller said NFZ when I powered up the RC and M2P and would not allow me to take off. I was very close to the right hand corner of the Hwy 70 sign in the upper right corner.

Thanks @kadras
It's badly worded. It will allow you to take off but you have to self-unlock via your DJI account. You don't need any kind of authorization to do that.

Authorization Zones. In these Zones, which appear blue in the DJI GO map, users will be prompted with a warning and flight is limited by default. Authorization Zones may be unlocked by authorized users using a DJI verified account.​
 

pmshop

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The self unlock would be nice but there is no internet connection where I want to fly, therefore I have to use custom unlocking but that has proven to be a problem.
Self unlock can be uploaded to the aircraft where there is a connection so long as you know where you are going to fly.
Make sure to have it switched off so you can fly elsewhere.
So long as the self unlocking is turned on, you cannot fly anywhere else.