Drone maker adds no-fly zones to devices for Olympics

Drone maker adds no-fly zones to devices for Olympics
© DJI Technology Inc.

A leading drone maker is taking steps to ensure that its unmanned aircraft systems don’t disrupt the summer Olympics.

China-based DJI announced Thursday that it has updated its software to include no-fly zones over the Olympic venues in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other Brazilian cities during the upcoming games.

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The temporary restrictions were added at the request of the Brazilian military and will remain in place for the entirety of the athletic events in an effort to enhance safety and security, DJI said in a press release.

“DJI is proud to work with Brazilian authorities to put temporary no-fly zones in place during this important time, in order to increase safety and security at high-profile locations and reduce the likelihood of drone operators inadvertently entering sensitive areas,” said Manuel Martinez, DJI’s Latin America corporate communications director.

“The overwhelming majority of DJI customers want to operate safely and within the law, and establishing clear no-fly zones helps reduce any potential for drone operations that could distract from the upcoming events.”

Similar restrictions were incorporated into DJI’s software for other large events that drew security concerns, such as the presidential nominating conventions in the U.S., the Group of Seven Summit in Japan and the Euro 2016 football tournament in France.
 
While consumer drones will be prohibited from flying over the Olympics, a number of television companies plan to use the emerging technology to broadcast portions of the games, according to Business Insider.
 
But safety concerns and certain restrictions will still apply to broadcasters, as drones are barred from flying over crowds and are required to maintain a 30-meter-wide space when landing, according to the report.