DJI Condemns Unsafe Mavic Flying near Tel Aviv Airport

DJI Mavic

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, condemns in the strongest possible terms a video posted by a drone user that records landing of aircraft at Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov airport. The user, Niv Stubenski, claims to have filmed the landings with a DJI Mavic Pro quadrocopter.

As the world’s largest drone manufacturer, we stand ready to assist national aviation authorities as they investigate a recent wave of photos and videos showing clear and intentional lawbreaking in ways that pose real danger to manned air traffic. DJI cooperates with lawful requests from governmental authorities investigating crimes that may involve our technology.

DJI, like other interested parties, has developed a proposal for identifying airborne drones. We laid out the framework for such a system in a white paper released in March.

DJI’s GPS-based geofencing system warns unauthorised drone pilots not to fly near 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. The Sde Dov Airport shown in the video has geofencing protection active around its runway location, extending five miles outward from the airport area along a rising slope.

Recently there have been media reports of unauthorised flight control parameter modifications that enable DJI drones to circumvent built-in safety features, including geofencing restrictions.DJI is constantly working on improving its firmware to counter unauthorised tampering.

A recent firmware update issued for all DJI drones fixes reported issues and ensures DJI’s products continue to provide information and features supporting safe flight. DJI will continue to investigate additional reports of unauthorised modifications and issue software updates to address them without further announcement.

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.