About the Author

Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and Electrek.

Haye can be reached at haye@dronedj.com or @hayekesteloo

 

Haye Kesteloo's Favorite Gear

Today

DJI Airworks, the event focussed on enterprise and commercial customers, will take place in LA from August 25-27, 2020. The gathering which according to DJI shapes “the forefront of the commercial drone industry,” will take place at the same venue as last year. The Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles. DJI is currently opening up registration for speakers.

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February 25

The Alabama legislature is today trying to pass a bill (HB36 & SB45) that would “provide for the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure by prohibiting the operation of an unmanned aircraft system, or drone, to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a critical infrastructure.” The bill specifically adds the term pipeline to the term critical infrastructure. This would, for instance, make it illegal for environmentalists to use drones to monitor pollution.

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February 24

In a recent statement, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that two new members had been added to the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). The FAA says that the DAC is a “broad-based, long-term federal advisory committee that provides the FAA advice on key unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements”. However, the DAC does not include any meaningful representation of small commercial drone operators or hobbyist drone pilots, which in our opinion is an immense oversight.

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The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has always been a much-loved photography subject. And now, with drones becoming smaller, increasingly capable, and ever more affordable, even more people are using their unmanned aircraft to photograph the famous landmark. Most of these flights, however, are illegal drone flights, and there have also been several drones that crashed into and onto the renowned bridge causing dangerous situations for motorists.

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February 21

Today we hear from Wing Aviation about their support for ASTM Standard for Drone Remote ID. Wing shares the concerns most drone pilots have when it comes to privacy. They also suggest you should be able to select the best form of Remote ID that fits with your drone and flying circumstances. You can read the details below.

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DJI is asking you to take part in a short survey about your DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. For your time and effort, you will have a change to win a DJI Phantom 4 Series Wrap Pack.

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February 20

If you’re still not convinced that the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) NPRM for Remote ID for Drones is a bad idea, then take a few minutes to read Christopher Korody’s piece in which he refers to these proposed rules as a ‘black hole’.

Keep in mind that if you too feel that your drone hobby or business is under threat of these new rules, then be sure to comment and let the FAA know your concerns and feedback. You have until March 2nd to submit them here online. Do NOT simply copy-paste prepared comments because as Christopher points out: “they (the FAA) reject repetitive comments, so the thousands of cut and paste letters from AMA members will be counted as one”.

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The Pentagon wants a counter-drone SWAT team to be put together asap by Defense Digital Service (DDS) to detect, hack, and jam enemy drones – with wide potential applications for Joint All-Domain Command & Control.

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February 19

DJI posted an article today in which they raise one of the most important questions regarding the Federal Administration Aviation’s (FAA) NPRM for Remote ID for Drones; who should know where a drone pilot is located? In the current proposed rules, the drone pilot’s location would be made publicly available, which as you can imagine is a hotly debated topic.

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The next Drone Advisory Committee takes place in Washington, D.C. on February 27th, 2020. The DAC plays a crucial role in advising the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when it comes to developing new proposed rules such as the FAA’s NPRM on Remote ID for Drones. The DAC represents many different parties within the drone industry, however, hobbyist drone pilots or small commercial drone operators are not represented at all in this important committee. If you want to stay on top of the latest drone rulemaking developments, I suggest that you either attend the meeting in person or online. For details, see below.

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February 18

Parrot, Europe’s leading drone group, has been chosen to equip the Swiss Armed Forces with micro-drones as part of the ” Swiss Mini UAV Program” (Swiss MUAS) call for tender against major civilian UAV players.

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DJI just released a video that explains how their new Drone-to-Phone Broadcast Remote ID solution works. This new solution for remote identification for drones was first introduced by DJI during the International Civil Aviation Organization’s third annual Drone Enable conference in Montreal last year. The app that works on any smartphone will show you in real-time the most important information about any DJI drone, such as the flight path of the drone, the location of the pilot and the ID number of the drone. DJI’s Drone-To-Phone Broadcast Remote ID relies on a WiFi connection between the drone and your smartphone and does not require an internet connection. This feature can be added to DJI drones by a simple firmware update.

Update: many of our readers have responded on social media, email and elsewhere expressing their discontent with the pilot location being made available to the general public in the DJI Phone-to-Drone app. A spokesperson for DJI clarified that this is simply a proof of concept based on the requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The app is not currently available to the public.

“The app and the associated drone firmware updates used for DJI’s demonstration this week are not yet available for public use, pending further direction from aviation regulators and final publication of the ASTM International standard.”

You can read the original news release from DJI about the Drone-to-Phone app here. The purpose of the app was to show how broadcast is “simple and free” and can work as an effective to implement a form of Remote ID for Drones.

If you do not want your location to be made publicly available, be sure to submit your comments to the FAA before March 2nd. You can find help here, here and here.

Update 2: DJI added new text to the description of the video. See in bold below.

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Parrot, the leading European drone group, announced it is partnering with RIIS, a leading provider of mobile app, web development and IT consulting services, to develop custom applications of artificial intelligence for Parrot’s popular ANAFI drone platform. Parrot and RIIS are focused on exploring the use of artificial intelligence and computer vision technology, combined with drone data capture, to solve countless industry challenges using an efficient and cost-effective approach.

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February 17

In Enfield, Connecticut, police used a drone to find a blind man who had walked away from home and became disoriented. The police said they were contacted by a family member of the man on Saturday morning around 8:45 am. Family members told the police that they were unable to make contact with the man which was uncommon.

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February 14

DJI’s Brendan Schulman, vice president of policy and legal affairs, talks about drones, fighting the coronavirus with agricultural drones, the FAA’s NPRM on Remote ID, and data security with Julia Chatterley on CNN.

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Rumors and news of the highly anticipated DJI Mavic 3 Pro keep swirling and changing. Here’s the latest information that we have as well as some advice we have for you. If you want the new DJI Mavic 3 Pro sooner, then stop buying the DJI Mavic 2!

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Ten days ago, we reported on the drone sighting that led to a temporary closure of Madrid’s Barajas Airport. The Spanish Civil Guard, however, has yet to find any proof of the ghost drone that was spotted by pilots and a falconer, according to Spanish newspaper El Independiente.

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February 13

After one year of police officers flying about a dozen DJI Mavic Airs to fight crime and respond to emergencies, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has released its first report on their use. The annual drone use report is part of the Sheriff’s Office transparency policy that explains the agreement between the police and the community on how the unmanned aerial systems are allowed to be used.

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Love is in the air! Today, DJI came out with a special Valentine’s offer. Save up to 26% on select products such as the DJI Osmo Pocket, the DJI Osmo Action, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, and the Ryze Tello drone. The Valentine’s Day Sale is valid from 00:00, Feb 7 to 23:59, Feb 14, 2020 (EST).

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February 12

We already reported that drones were being used to stop the virus from spreading, but now DJI published an article that informs us that DJI pledged $1,5M on February 4th and uses DJI Argas drones to fight Coronavirus in China.

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