DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology,takes very seriously a report that a drone may have caused the temporary closure of London’s Gatwick airport on Sunday, 2 July, as it flew too close to the runway. In past incidents, early reports of drone involvement turned out to be false. Nevertheless, we take this report seriously, and stand ready to offer assistance to the authorities as they investigate this incident.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of easy-to-fly aerial platform and camera technology, DJI strongly condemns the unsafe use of this technology in areas that conflict with normal operations of manned air traffic.
DJI’s GPS-based geofencing system warns unauthorized drone pilots not to fly near Gatwick and other airports. DJI was the first civilian drone manufacturer to incorporate geofencing into its products, in 2013. This technology provides warning information to drone operators based on the location of the drone, and in some locations automatically prevents flight of the drone, either by disabling the motors before takeoff or by causing an in-flight drone to pause outside the designated area without entering. These locations include airports, places with temporary increased aviation activity, disaster emergency zones or locations that raise serious national security concerns. Examples include highly sensitive government buildings, nuclear power plants, major prison facilities, and certain temporary locations during major sporting events and other security-sensitive special events.
DJI also provides best practices for UAV operators via our FlySafe website, as well as links to country-based regulatory sites via dji.com. We also provide warnings in the DJI GO app that operates our drones, reminding users about basic safe flying practices.
With millions of drones in the air around the world already, DJI is continuing to innovate with new technology to further enhance aerial safety.
Despite the advisory and educational resources DJI have put in place, we ask our users to ensure the safe and legal operation of their equipment wherever they are, and we expect all our customers to operate responsibly and to respect the safety and security needs of sensitive locations that are reflected in DJI’s geofencing systems.
DJI will continue working together with regulators to help our users understand the safe and legal operation of aerial technology. We also continue to support governments in creating a regulatory framework that promotes safe skies that are also open to the innovative potential of unmanned systems.