Security is extremely tight at the South Korea winter Olympics. With the prospect of nuclear confrontation facing the Korean peninsula, no one is taking any risks when it comes to protecting the more than a hundred thousand spectators’ and thousands of athletes who’ll be taking part in the games.
So it’s no surprise that officials don’t want camera drones anywhere near the Olympic venues. Authorities have announced that they will deploy drones that will cast nets to capture any intruder drones. Those not netted will be shot down.
DJI has also stepped in to help with security by announcing temporary no-fly zones for any DJI-branded flying camera drone.
These restrictions apply to all arenas in use for the Olympics and the areas surrounding them. The four main zones that are out of reach for drones during the length of the games are Pyeongchang, Gangneung, Jeongseon and Bongpyeong.
According to DJI, the coordinates of the restricted areas were determined in coordination with aviation authorities.
“DJI’s temporary no-fly zones were deployed in order to reduce the likelihood of drone operators inadvertently entering sensitive areas.” DJI said in a statement. “Safety is DJI’s top priority and we’ve always taken proactive steps to educate our customers to operate within the law and where appropriate, implement temporary no-fly zones during major events. We believe this feature will reduce the potential for drone operations that could inadvertently create safety or security concerns.”
How DJI’s No-fly Zones System Works
DJI already has a built-in no-fly zone system in their drone software. It consists of locked geo zones in various locations such as airports, prisons, power plants and national security sites.
Users cannot start or fly their drones into these areas.
DJI does not restrict flight into all sensitive areas. In some locations, the drone will be able to fly but DJI will display a warning to be extra careful.
In the case of the South Korea Olympics, DJI has instituted a complete blockade of all DJI drones. They will not be able to get anywhere near the protected zones. This will ensure that no drone users inadvertently fly into any security-sensitive zones.
This is actually not the first time that DJI is implementing no-fly zones. They have done it several times usually upon request from event organizers or law enforcement.
In 2016, they created no-fly zones around the GOP and Democratic parties’ conventions. The same year they also had restrictions around the G7 summit as well as the Euro 2016 football tournament. They have also created no-fly zones in parts of Syria and Iraq to prevent terrorists from using DJI drones.
Drones as a Security Risk
The ‘anti-drone’ security measures we are seeing at this year’s Olympics are a marked difference from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Then, people and media organizations used drones to film skiers racing down the slopes. News publications trumpeted the drone revolution that was changing sports filming.
Since then, there have been numerous hazardous incidents involving drones, including one of a drone crushing into a passenger plane in Canada. So it is understandable that officials and even drone companies are more cautious about letting drones fly free anywhere.
And if you need more evidence that drones and skiing don’t mix, watch this video.