Safety has always been a priority for drones flying in the sky. Recently, DJI launched its Polygon No-fly Zone in mainland China. This new regulation is more suitable in real flight, and generally speaking, not much stricter from the previous version.

Reason of Launching New P-NFZ

Not long ago, an irrational drone pilot flied his drone up above an airport in Hangzhou, China. The video showing a manned jet flying extremely near to his drone caused deep concerns not only among drone users but also the general public in China. This led to vast discussion on UAV regulations online and television, even drew the government’s attention.

In answer to public concerns, DJI issued an announcement where several measures would be taken to address UAV safety issues. And Poly No-fly Zone is one of them.

Previous version of no-fly zone was simply a circle centering an airport, without considering the fact that planes have already descended to 500m high before entering NFZ. That was how the offended drone user got those footages. Now with the new P-NFZ launched by DJI is more specific and reasonable, aiming to stop accidents like this from happening again.
DJI no-fly zone
The first version of NFZ

What’s new of the P-NFZ

Though the new P-NFZ is a bit more complicated compared to the old one, with a new restricted fly zone added to the new version, it’s not hard to understand through detailed explanation.
DJI no-fly zone
Above is the new P-NFZ diagram.

  • No-fly Zone: R1 area in the diagram, which is the overlapping part of two circles using two ends of the runway as centers, with a radius of 5 km.
  • 30m Restricted Fly Zone: R2 area of the overlap (excluding R1)of circles with the same centers but a 7 km radius.
  • 60m Restricted Fly Zone: two trapezoids (excluding R1 and R2) with a 15% slope extending from the two ends of the runway.
  • 120m Restricted Fly Zone: a circle using the midpoint of the runway at 10km radius, excluding all the three areas above.

Different restricted heights of 30m, 60m and 120m form a huge funnel-like cover protecting airports and airplanes flying in and out. Drone flight is still permitted once you are out of the zone.
DJI no-fly zone
Sector-by-sector Flight Height Restriction

  1. When a drone is approaching the P-NFZ, a warning prompts out and warn the user the risk of flying in this area.
  2. If a drone is flying higher than the maximum restriction, it will automatically slows down and hovers until the user descends it to a permitted flight height to get in.
  3. If a drone flies lower than the restriction, its maximum flight height after entering the zone will be restricted.
  4. If a drone has entered the P-NFZ without GPS signal, it will automatically descend to the restricted height after regaining one.

Comment

So judge by the current regulations, this new P-NFZ is less strict than people previously thought. Apart from the 4.5 km no-fly zone (R1) surrounding the runway, the rest of the zone is still available for flying, though within limited heights.
DJI no-fly zone
Comparison of the P-NFZ in Shenzhen Bao’an Airport

As shown above, the new P-NFZ covers almost the same area as the old one, except two stripes stretching from the runways. Though it does bigger than the previous NFZ, to be specific, drones are only banned in the central red areas, with only restrictions in the rest of the zone. In other words, the total areas expended, but the no fly zone area remains almost unchanged.

Indeed, the new regulation puts strengthen the restriction on flight heights, which will inevitably affect drone users in some places, especially those who want to do high altitude aerial photography. But it’s worthwhile for bringing down the risk of drones interfering manned airplanes and protecting passengers’ safety. The P-NFZ is undoubtedly a good news to passengers as well as the entire civil aviation system in China.

After all, once a drone is dragged into an airplane’s engine, the affected engine is highly likely to break down, causing serious consequence. In this aspect, stricter regulation is acceptable.

What DJI can do as an enterprise is limited. It can lay down some regulations, but users’ cooperation is what matters most. Flight safety should always be prioritized in drone users’ mind.

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