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This is a world’s first in the market for drones. The Chinese manufacturers DJI, based in Shenzhen, China since 2006, have just banned their drones from flying over Washington DC in the United States.

Since January 30th DJI brand drones can no longer fly within a 25 km (15 miles) radius around the presidential residence. A measure following the crash a few days earlier of one of their quadricopters, a Phantom, in the grounds of the White House. The restriction is made possible thanks to simple GPS co-ordinates.

Michael Perry, Spokesperson - DJI

"It’s a software-based solution that can be uploaded by its controller. It’s in the firmware, that whenever you upgrade it on the DJI platform it will ensure that there is an additional levels of safety in terms of the ‘no-fly zones’ around sensitive sites.”

Concretely, if you are in a ‘no-fly zone’, your drone will not start, and if you take-off outside this area, but try to get closer, your drone will gradually lose altitude and be unable to cross the restricted limit. Since last April, the manufacturers have also prohibited the flying of their drones near more than 2,500 airports around the world, and in the coming weeks intend to add 10,000 other airports, borders and sensitive sites. There is one downside to this measure though, if you choose to bypass the problem. 

Michael Perry, Spokesperson - DJI

 “It’s like a cell phone, you can choose not to upgrade the firmware, but if you do that, you will seriously limit the access to some of the future upgrades and new developments which allow you to point at different places on the map, tell the platform the altitude, tell it the speed, press ‘Go’ and it will take off and fly that route automatically.”

Even though the overflying of sensitive areas is strictly illegal, currently UAV manufacturers are not required to apply such restrictions to their machines. Therefore, DJI, world leader in the drone market, intends to be a precursor, and an example of why this system should become the norm in a market with great potential.

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