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LAANC (vs - and) DJI UNLOCK

theDRONEranger

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USA - Since LAANC approval is required within the Classed airspace, is there a true valid reason for keeping the DJI Unlock? Is it not considered to be redundant by requiring both? Given, there are particular areas that are strictly off limits, i.e., NPS, DC area, stadiums (during game), etc. The flights in Classed air space require LAANC approval. Why, exactly, does DJI have to approve as well? To my knowledge, a rogue non-DJI drone could just as easily fly in NFZs as well as anywhere else, with/without LAANC and/or with/without DJI blessing. Illegal is illegal! Does it not seem as if the legit pilots are being a bit punished by being required to obtain not only LAANC, but DJI’s approval on top? It’s almost as if DJI is saying, “Yes, you have the FAA’s approval, but that is not good enough for us! You have to have our approval too!
Shouldn’t the FAA’s LAANC be the sole source? Just as before the implementation of LAANC, one had to get the ATC tower permission and DJI Unlock for flight in Classed space. Isn’t all this still redundant?, even as in the past?
I feel DJI should do a firmware update, eliminating the DJI Unlock programming!

Your thoughts!?!
 
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msinger

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Shouldn’t the FAA’s LAANC be the sole source?
That would be ideal. It's not currently an option though since DJI GO is not able to connect to LAANC.
 

BigAl07

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I think that we have so many people who do not KNOW the regulations or who simply don't wish to follow them that DJI is smart, from a Corp stance to keep Geo Fencing.

Also some of DJI's "Restricted" areas are very valid. Prisons are one good example. I work/operate not far from one and DJI gives me plenty of warnings and used to lock me out.
 

theDRONEranger

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I think that we have so many people who do not KNOW the regulations or who simply don't wish to follow them that DJI is smart, from a Corp stance to keep Geo Fencing.

Also some of DJI's "Restricted" areas are very valid. Prisons are one good example. I work/operate not far from one and DJI gives me plenty of warnings and used to lock me out.
Yes, I agree restricted areas are there for a valid reason. Does that stop non-DJI drones? (I worked at the CO state prisons for 20 years, I’m with ya, Brother). The pilots who desire to fly illegally, will continue to do so! But, it is still redundant for DJI pilots, is it not?
 

sar104

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The problem with relying on the LAANC approval process is that the aircraft doesn't actually check for it. Until DJI becomes an LAANC service provider that won't work. And, even then, there is the question of how third-party apps would handle it - and how approval via AirMap, for example, would be communicated to the DJI SDK.

And additionally, LAANC only looks at airspace, and assumes some level of familiarity with airport operations - for example it doesn't regulate flight around Class G airports, even at the end of the runways. DJI's Fly Safe system provides some extra safety in those kinds of situations.
 

msinger

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Why not just eliminate DJI Unlock for USA?
Assuming these locks weren't added purely by accident, I don't think DJI would just remove them altogether.
 

KeithLa

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I don't think it's redundant, and can understand why DJI would keep it for business, legal liability, and safety reasons, esp. having just used it yesterday 1 mile from a major airport runway.

For starters, DJI Go doesn't know if we went and got LAANC approval. All it can know is the presence of controlled airspace and NFZs in vicinity of the takeoff point.

Or, if we are going to keep in the approved flight plan radius (with VLOS), altitude, and time window, all of which are pretty easy to violate accidentally, esp. in low <50ft ceilings.

Or, how competent we are for reacting to an unanticipated technical glitch (e.g. disconnect), or manned aircraft entering the approved space.

So, for liability reasons, DJI asks us pilots to expressly (and identifiably) assume responsibility for knowingly operating its products under governmental restrictions their technology cannot enforce on its own.

For business and safety reasons, it's good for DJI to be seen doing it's part to ensure we pilots are properly informed and advised on airspace rules and safety risks. And, perhaps more controversially, collecting data (incl. personally identifiable info) to help enforce those rules and discourage intentional violations.

That data would help protect DJI if an unethical pilot sought to falsely blame a violation or accident on drone hardware or software failure (situations I'm sure DJI's warranty department are all too familiar with).

Conceivably, as the FAA system proves out, DJI Go may be able to eventually interface with LAANC authorizations and simplify the unlock process further.

Overall, while it's a small hassle, I think DJI's authorization zone mechanism complements and supports the LAANC purpose to give recreational drones safe access to more interesting airspaces, and reducing risk of catastrophic incidents that could wipe out this product category we've come to enjoy.
 

msinger

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I don't think it's redundant, and can understand why DJI would keep it for business, legal liability, and safety reasons
Yes, I could see them keeping it too for the purpose of permanently locking out some locations (even if it's technically legal to fly). Once DJI GO is updated to integrate with LAANC (assuming that's what DJI is going to do), I think they will auto unlock many of the areas that are currently locked out today after the pilot gets FAA approval.
 
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RickinWaST

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As a first time drone owner I’m learning about LAANC and restricted areas. Where I live not only is a state work release building (Inside the city.) marked red, but a private golf course country club.
 

dawgpilot

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As a first time drone owner I’m learning about LAANC and restricted areas. Where I live not only is a state work release building (Inside the city.) marked red, but a private golf course country club.
I don't see any golf courses marked red on DJI's FlySafe map near Spokane. Which one were you referencing? If you mean Indian Canyon, there is a prohibited area extending from the Spokane International airport, but it isn't because of the golf course and doesn't look like it actually covers the course itself. You would need to seek an LAANC authorization to fly in that area and then do the self-unlock process through DJI though.
 

Thomas B

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My solution for my practice area, which is 4 square miles and encompasses a large area of class D airspace, was an application for clearance through the FAA’s DroneZone site. It took about 3 weeks to get a long term waiver. My clearance is valid through August 31, 2021.
4FBE5736-0A11-43B3-850D-A6C90AE5351C.jpeg
 
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JAW

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My solution for my practice area, which is 4 square miles and encompasses a large area of class D airspace, was an application for clearance through the FAA’s DroneZone site. It took about 3 weeks to get a long term waiver. My clearance is valid through August 31, 2021.
View attachment 83012
Thanks for posting!
 
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