Is my flight location in a restricted airspace zone?
No matter what make and model drone you’re flying, you can find out if you’re in or near restricted airspace on the DJI Fly Safe GEO Zone Map (GEO – Geospatial Environment Online). Of note, the DJI GEO-Map is much more comprehensive than the FAA’s online map, from Part 1.
DJI’s GEO-Map System delineates where it’s safe to fly, where your flight may raise concerns, and where flights are restricted. Restricted airspace zones that prohibit flights are implemented around locations such as airports, power plants, and prisons. They’re also implemented temporarily around major stadium events, forest fires, or other emergency situations. Certain restricted airspace zones don’t prohibit flight, but do trigger warnings that inform users of potential risks.
The procedures below are specific to the DJI brand of aerial drones. Other drone manufacturers may have their own procedures.
DJI’s Restricted Airspace Boundary Color Codes
Green– warning zone, such as the outer zones of restricted flight areas.
Yellow– authorization zone, such as the inner zones of restricted flight areas – unlock is available online.
Red– restricted zone, unlock is available by providing evidence from an authorization authority to DJI.
FAA Part 107 requires the remote pilot to receive permission from the airport Fixed Base Operator prior to flying within 5 miles of the airport. If your drone is inside the “green zone”, that is it’s inside the 5-mile radius but outside the 1.5-mile radius, DJI assumes the pilot has this permission – your drone will fly; no further action needed. However, if you’re inside the 1.5-mile “yellow” radius, the drone’s firmware prevents the drone from starting and/or entering this airspace.
DJI provides an easy method to unlock your drone’s firmware so you can enter “yellow zone” restricted air space, such as around regional airports. DJI assumes the pilot has this permission and simply verifies your identity in their online process. Here’s how:
Unlocking a Yellow Zone Restricted Flight Area
Unlocking a yellow zone boundary, such as within 1.5 miles of an airport, requires permission via the DJI website, which verifies your identity and coordinates the “Unlock” with your DJI online account. A reminder that you should have a valid reason, such as a commercial photo shoot, prior to asking the airport’s Fixed Base Operator for permission.
Open the DJI Fly Safe web page: https://www.dji.com/flysafe
Click on the “UNLOCK A ZONE” tab and enter your DJI account information.
Enter your drone model, location, authorization date range, and controller serial number. Your remote controller serial number is not printed on the remote, but you can look it up in your DJI Go app. You can also look it up in a Litchi flight log under the column FlyControllerSerialNumber.
Choose to verify your identity by credit card or mobile phone (with text capability):
1. By phone, enter the number (no hyphens), press send and you will receive a text message. Enter the token.
2. By credit card, enter the number (no hyphens) and info.
If successful, you will get this notice: “This Authorization Zone has been unlocked. You can check your unlocking records in the DJI GO app.” Caveat: you may not see the “unlocking record” in your app but you will be prompted to fly safe before taking off. Also, this procedure only works for the DJI Go app; other after-market apps may not work.
Unlocking a Red Zone Restricted Flight Area
Permission to fly in a red zone is done via e-mail to email@example.com. You will need to provide evidence from an authorization authority. DJI will then process your request and, if approved, unlock your drone via your DJI online account.