Niv Stubenski made the mistake of posting a highly illegal video to the internet. Usually, this wouldn’t be news; illegal drone videos make up a large percentage of aerial footage online. However, the video filmed the landing of an aircraft near the Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. He said that the footage was captured via a Mavic Pro drone, potentially placing DJI in hot water.
DJI says that as the world’s largest drone manufacturer, they stand ready to help the enforcement of national aviation laws on a worldwide scale. This video, in particular, shows the breaking of several major aviation laws, such as posing dangers to air traffic and flying in a restricted airspace. DJI also respects the demands of national governments, aiding them in investigations that use their technologies.
As you can see in the image above, the Mavic Pro appears to be at a similar altitude as the descending jet. On the right of the image is a landing strip, which is clearly where the plane is headed. Stubenski put his drone out of the plane’s direct path, but this very well could have been an accidental decision. Regardless, flying in restricted air spaces poses a major threat to planes, passengers, and more.
What About Geofencing?
DJI was the first company to institute this technology into their drones. Geofencing is a way to prevent fliers from doing just what Stubenski did: by forcing the drone to hover, or in some cases, fully prevent the drone from taking off, DJI has an advanced locational service in place that creates a safer airspace. The Sde Dov airport has this geofencing parameter in place, extending five miles in every direction from the airport. Recently, though, third-party services are being released that disable the safe-flight technologies, and allow users to fly anywhere and with no altitude restrictions. However, more recently than that, DJI released a firmware update that counters these softwares and once again institutes geofencing technologies into their flagship drones, ensuring safe flight. The Mavic Pro likely had a modification installed that allowed it to bypass DJI’s geofencing.
DJI asks users to continue to respect their safety precautions, and to not tamper with the drones in such a way that others are placed in harm’s way. The say that they will continue to investigate users who fly with modified drones in restricted airspaces, as they seek to install a safe framework for aerial cinematographers worldwide. Finally, DJI says that they would like a creative yet airspace for unmanned systems, however that cannot happen with the violation of aviation laws.
Last modified: July 29, 2017