DJI drones to be fitted with aircraft detector

DJI drone

Drone manufacturer DJI is to equip all of its drones weighing more than 250 grams with AirSense technology, which receives ADS-B signals from nearby aeroplanes and helicopters and warns drone pilots if they appear to be on a collision course.

DJI says it will be the largest single deployment of ADS-B collision awareness technology to date.

AirSense can detect aircraft from miles away, farther than a drone pilot can hear or see them, and displays their locations on the screen of the pilot’s remote controller.

DJI’s AirSense is the first of ten points in ‘Elevating Safety’, its new safety plan. The ten points are:

  1. DJI will install ADS-B receivers in all new drones above 250 grams
  2. Automatic warning for drone pilots flying at extended distances
  3. DJI will establish an internal Safety Standards Group to meet regulatory and customer expectations
  4. Aviation industry groups must develop standards for reporting drone incidents
  5. All drone manufacturers should install geofencing and remote identification
  6. Governments must require remote identification
  7. Governments must require a user-friendly knowledge test for new drone pilots
  8. Governments must clearly designate sensitive restriction areas
  9. Local authorities must be allowed to respond to drone threats that are clear and serious
  10. Governments must increase enforcement of laws against unsafe drone operation.

DJI will introduce AirSense in its drones from 1 January 2020 to coincide with the US requirement for aircraft to be fitted with ADS-B transmitters.

“Expanding the availability of AirSense to DJI pilots is a meaningful step forward in safely integrating UAS and reducing conflicts with manned aircraft,” said Rune Duke of the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

“ADS-B In is used daily by thousands of pilots to increase their situational awareness and ensure safe operations.

“As the general aviation fleet further equips with ADS-B Out and other NextGen technology, enhancements like AirSense will allow all pilots to maximize their investment. All of aviation will benefit from the incorporation of this technology into DJI’s large fleet.”

See 2 comments


  • David Allard says:

    But most light aircraft – including home-builts, gliders, microlights, hang-gliders paramotors, etc do not have ADS-B, so how will these drones detect and avoid such aircraft? Most gliders use FLARM and in our aircraft we use PilotAware.

  • Ash says:

    Would make a lot more sense if the drones had an ADS-B Transmitter so the competent aircraft pilot could avoid the recreational drone pilot who probably doesn’t know what the “funny aircraft icon” on his controller means!

    Obviously this would then make the drones rather expensive but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone buying one currently!

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