The Gatwick drone debacle caught many people by surprise in early December. Among them were the security personnel, airport staff and thousands of travelers who were inconvenienced for a good 2-3 days in London. One thing is for sure, drones need to know the boundaries – those inconvenienced in the Gatwick fiasco would agree.
DJI, the consumer drone maker has decided to take the lead on making amends following the event in December. The company has announced that it will be upgrading the geofencing systems of its products to prevent them from entering sensitive zones. The company calls the update Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) 2.0 system and will be rolled out for 19 European countries. The rollout will begin later this month.
DJI says “GEO 2.0 applies the strictest geofencing restrictions to a 1.2 kilometer (3/4 mile) wide rectangle around each runway and the three-dimensional flight paths at either end, where airplanes ascend and descend. More flexible geofencing restrictions apply to an oval area within 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) of each runway.” The update will increase the protection in the locations where aircrafts actually fly.
Some European countries are getting geofencing for the first time. Among these countries are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Slovenia.