DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, announced their support for Transport Canada’s new drone regulations as a way to balance both safety and benefits of drone technology. The new rules for drones in Canada will go into effect on June 1, 2019.
According to DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs Brendan Schulman, the new rule “strikes a sensible balance between protecting public safety and bringing the benefits of drone technology to Canadian businesses and the public at large.”
Schulman added that some of Transport Canada’s rules are “particularly innovative,” specifically addressing “an easily accessible online test, rules that will allow for night operations, and a framework that will keep drones away from major airports while not simply outlawing operations anywhere near populated areas.”
A key component of the new rules is the Safety Assured Flight Envelope (SAFE) system, through which manufacturers will declare that their drones are suitable for use in advanced operations, such as over people or in controlled airspace. With the goal of participating, DJI will examine the details of the SAFE system so they can continue to provide products to their Canadian customers.
DJI supports rules that make it easy for pilots to register with the authorities, as well as educational initiatives to ensure pilots understand how to fly drones safely. DJI believes registration protocols, online knowledge tests to educate drone pilots, and reasonable restrictions on where drones can fly are the best tools to ensure drones maintain their admirable safety record.
DJI continues to lead the industry in developing technology to help enhance the safety of drone operations:
- In 2013, DJI pioneered geofencing systems for its drones, using GPS position to warn or restrict drone pilots from entering locations which pose national security or aviation safety concerns.
- In 2016, DJI upgraded its geofencing programming to include the capability for live updates of temporary flight restrictions and other changing hazardous conditions such as wildfires, while also adding flexibility for drone pilots with authority to operate in those locations.
- DJI built automatic altitude limitations into its flight control apps to help pilots ensure they fly at safe altitudes.
- DJI developed sense-and-avoid systems for recent drone models, which use sensors to identify obstacles and either stop short of them or navigate around them.
- DJI created return-to-home systems which automatically guide a drone back to its takeoff point if it is low on battery or loses radio connection to its pilot.
- DJI invented intelligent systems to monitor available battery life and temperature in real time, maintain battery health and warn of potential battery malfunctions before flight.
DJI continues to work with governments and aviation authorities by providing materials for testing and technical expertise. DJI supports scientific research, such as the FAA-Commissioned ASSURE report, that will ensure regulations are based on the best available evidence to achieve safety goals.