Drones: China now securing the White House


Cape Town - When an unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (AUV/Drone) is able to land on the lawn of the most prominent building in the United States, it certainly does not bode well for amateur users.

This is what happened recently, raising more concerns about the use of drones and how the devices could be exploited by terrorists.

In response, the largest drone builder, a Shanghai based manufacturer DJI, has released a firmware update for the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ which now ensures that drones automatically land when they come too close to US national key points in Washington DC, as well as certain airports and international borders.

South Africa’s draft legislation around UAV’s has just been closed for public comment at the end of December 2014, with a South African Civil Aviation Authority committee currently finalising the outcome.

Phindiwe Gwebu, spokesperson for the SACAA says draft legislation is currently being deliberated by the appointed committee and that as it stands the use of drones in SA public airspace is still illegal. Gwebu could not confirm the date of when the draft legislation would be finalised or if this latest development would affect its outcome, stating that anybody wanting to take the matter further could still contact the SACAA.

Eturbonews reports the No-Fly Zone update by manufacturer DJI is centered on the White House incident and extends for a 25-kilometer (15.5 mile) radius in all directions of the location.

The report states the new addition is part of DJI’s ongoing work with regulators to ensure safe flight, and is being included in a scheduled firmware update.

DJI said it will continue to update its no-fly-zone list to include sensitive institutions and national borders in compliance with local regulations.

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