DJI Authorization Zones vs FAA Airspace Approval

DJI Authorization Zones vs FAA Airspace Approval

This video will explain the difference between DJI and FAA approval when flying your drone, what each DJI geo zone means, how to request and gain DJI approval, how to import your unlocking license into your drone, and how to submit a LAANC request.

00:00 Introduction
01:00 The difference between FAA approval and DJI approval
06:10 The types of DJI approval
09:20 How to get DJI approval
14:00 How to activate it in your drone
16:39 How to get FAA approval

Our Other Channels
– PIXL Drone Show: drone related podcast, posts every Tuesday morning.
– Pilot Institute Airplane: our airplane channel:

Our courses
– Part 107 Made Easy: the most comprehensive ground school online.
– Drone Business Made Easy: start your drone business with a solid foundation.
– Drone Flying 101: the perfect course for beginners.
– Drone Maneuvers Mastery: become a better pilot with these 50 maneuvers designed to improve your flying skills.
– Cinematic FPV Drone From Scratch: build your own cinematic machine with this course.

Get Pilot Institute Gear
– T-shirt or Long Sleeve T:
– Polo shirt:


  1. Niall on December 13, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for putting this video together, this has confounded me for years and you helped clear a lot up. Cheers.

  2. void_Presence on December 13, 2021 at 11:39 am

    I don’t quite get this, according to law, the FAA has the ONLY authority when it comes to American airspace.

  3. Micro Max00 on December 13, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Hi Greg! I will attempt to provide some logic based on my observation for your questions base on the pin placed during the video at 03:25. If you look at that pin, in the 200’ block, the pin is within the blue line. What DJI is not telling you is that they are using geofencing to block the drone from taking off and interfering with any aircraft within that flight path within the vicinity of the airport and the direction that the airplanes are using for takeoff and landing. And to provide an example to make it easier to understand my non man pilot knowledge, if an airplane declares an emergency immediately after takeoff ( and landing/go around), and decides to immediately turn right or left, DJI, does not want to interfere with that procedure in that airspace, as they do not want to have bad publicity from the deeply wounded pilot saying: “after a oil pressure dropped, we declared an emergency and we attempted a tight left/right turn, and is when we lost the engine completely due to a drone that look like the one I bought for my kid for Christmas, and yes it was a DJI”, LAMO. Can you possibly understand how bad DJI public image will suffer hearing this from a commercial pilot? Can you imagine the media hitting on DJI, and the other competitors coming around saying, our drones are safer than DJIs because of X Y Z element…? DJI will drown in negative publicity and comments and it will lose its place in being the # 1 producer of unman aircraft in the drone industry.
    With that said, I am sure that as soon as you clear of the blue area, you will be able to take off. I hope that my hypothesis helps others understand how I think, that DJI is thinking – minimizing risk.

    PD with RiverLineTech.

  4. Anthony Winstead on December 13, 2021 at 11:40 am

    DJI AKA Communist Chinese Party grants a US citizen on where you can fly?

  5. Andramota on December 13, 2021 at 11:42 am

    I can see Autel taking a lot more market share away from dji. They do not seem to have the same convoluted and nonsensical rules in place like dji does. Why can’t dji defer to the FAA approach to granting flying rights? If I already have FAA approval to fly in a certain area, why do I still need dji’s blessing to fly in the same area? So, with this extra level of frustrating red tape, dji is telling us that we are merely renting their drones, we do not own them?

  6. GeezerPleasers on December 13, 2021 at 11:43 am

    This is very helpful information, presented logically, step-by-step.

    When I looked at DJI’s FlySafe map for the area around the International Airport in Las Vegas. I was amazed at the areas where DJI will let you do a self unlock, despite the strict FAA restrictions.

  7. Brett Jones on December 13, 2021 at 11:44 am

    A couple days for approval ? 😂😂😂

  8. Dutch Oven Guy on December 13, 2021 at 11:46 am

    FAA’s Part 77 surfaces concept is quite interesting. It actually make sense.

  9. TravelLove on December 13, 2021 at 11:46 am

    My altitude stays 0m in an enhanced warning zone. That does not let me use Master Shots.

  10. BadTuna on December 13, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Thanks again for our weekly update. Great info! The only DJI drone I have now is the FPV drone, which I mainly use to capture low-flight video shots at the California coast. But my Autel EVO 2 Pro is my go-to drone for everything else.

  11. Stan Brothers on December 13, 2021 at 11:51 am

    good to know

  12. Josh Moxey on December 13, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Dude, thank you so much. I was so damn confused with the self unlock as I live in an authorized zone near an airport. Got to finally fly from my house today and it was so cool! Thanks a ton 🙂

  13. Watice R on December 13, 2021 at 11:54 am

    This makes so much sense now. I have been wondering for a long time why the FAA & DJI zones in class B is so different. Thank you for explaining it in plain english!

  14. Rob on December 13, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Greg I have the answer its called Autel Evo 2. What a pain in the rear end the DJI geofencing is . We have around $23,000 tied up in two DJI drones and being in the middle of a class B and 3 class D airports it is painful flying a DJI drone. The Autel is a breath of fresh air, once receiving my LAANC authorization I can fly immediately problem solved.

  15. Sue Ogrocki on December 13, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I bought a DJI drone before they started geofencing. They have no right to now tell me I can’t fly,

  16. RightBrains on December 13, 2021 at 11:57 am

    I have a solution to the DJI over-reach nanny state: buy Autel. We have a part time, (3) months of the year, Class D covering Eastern Long Island, (9) months of the year it is class G. But DJI insists on controlling the use of my drone for a 76 sq mile swath, aka The Hamptons, year round. Going to a Chinese web site to use my drone in my back yard to comply with imaginary, and not FAA regs, was infuriating. I assume there are many other instances of this across the country. Sold DJI and bought Autel, now I can worry about the film instead of how to get it to take off.

  17. Papa Jack Price on December 13, 2021 at 11:57 am

    How do I find the map or apps that show the flight altitude in the square boxes? I’m new and want to learn.. I’m in mesquite Nevada and we have a small airport without a tower and I see the air space but no squares with numbers

  18. Paul Vo on December 13, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Good video. Very Informative, especially on how to DJI approval.
    Question: Do I need to worry about DJI approval, if I only use Aloft / Kittyhawk to fly my DJI aircraft?

  19. Joe Glenn on December 13, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Hello thank you for the video that was great. I just discovered your channel. I’m down in Phoenix near I 17 and Jomax in North Phoenix. If you ever want to fly let me know I’d be glad to run up to Prescott and get out of the heat. I’ve had in the back of my mind some thoughts about maybe moving there anyway. It’s hard to find people down here who want to fly but that might be just because it’s been so hot. Anyway feel free to reach out to me anytime thanks again

  20. thefilmguy on December 13, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    This is why I not a drone pilot yet, if ever.

  21. Ben O on December 13, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Dji is a Chinese group——what do they know about US airspace.

  22. Davey on December 13, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    So what confuses me if Kittyhawk or B4UFLY give you approval how does the DJI drone know?

  23. Rithicus Cloudwalker on December 13, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Why is DJI controlling what airspace I fly in? I thought the FAA controls the airspace in the US. Thanks for always giving us great info and content.

  24. xaquison on December 13, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you 🙏!!

  25. Twirly Bird on December 13, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Great presentation, I can’t begin to thank Pilot Institute enough for everything I have learned and continue to learn. This is very useful.

  26. Bill Hess on December 13, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Well, darn. First the good: Using Dronezone, I went through the same steps you show, told them I would be making many flights in the area I sought authorization for over the next couple of years, they asked for a little more information and wound up giving me a two-year authorization. I then went to the DJI Unlock page, entered my Controller serial number, selected tomorrow and just as you state, three days were auto selected. I hit "submit" and it was approved. Now the bad: I can find no "unlock geo zone." I do find "Unlocking Licence" It takes me to "Unlocking License List." Below this is "App" and "Aircraft." Upon being tapped, "Aircraft" states "No license." Below this is a blue "sync" button. I tap it and get "Sync successful," but still no license. I tap "App" and get only the blue sync. I tap that and get "user authentication failed. Please log in again. (Error code 1002)." I do so, but the same exact thing happens. Tomorrow morning I will fly 750 miles to the north and in the afternoon I plan to take my first flight in my two-year authorized area. I am greatly worried that DJI won’t let me. I will send all this info to DJI support and see if they have the answer. Thank you.

  27. lefthandedpolack on December 13, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Theres a few parks north of me that would be awesome for flying but its pretty close to a puddle jumper airport. the park is in a blu e authorization zone but i have a ton of other good parks within a few miles of me so im just not going to fly there to be safe.

  28. Gabriel Sénécal on December 13, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Very well done and comprehensive.

  29. tom mills on December 13, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    What in the world gives DJI any say in the matter? I always understood the FAA was/is the ultimate authority in all aviation. And how the hell can DJI do anything at all?

  30. Jim Root on December 13, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    We were flying in a faa control area with faa approval. DJI made me answer all the “responsibility” questions. Then let me take off but would not let me return to the take off point. Thought I was going to loose the drone.

  31. Kathleen Pogue on December 13, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Wow, thanks for a list of reasons why not to get a DJI drone.

  32. EYES IN THE SKY - Tarek Jadeba on December 13, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks, What about the area inside the blue circle, but there is LAANC number , check this address 1360 E 6TH Los Angeles California

  33. David Benson on December 13, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Fly an Autel EVO II. Stick with FAA. No hassle.

  34. Adam Reynolds on December 13, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you for making this so simple to understand.

  35. imake.images Photographer on December 13, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Hi neighbor (I’m in Oro Valley). Thanks for this vid, very informative!

    I’m headed to Prescott tomorrow and want to fly there. I followed your instructions and am on DJI’s site right now trying to get unlocked. However, when it tells me to draw a circle around the area on the map, I only get the hand symbol that lets you pan around the map. The same thing happens when I try the Zone Unlocking option, it tells me to select a zone. But when I hover over the map I still can only pan around. What am I missing?

    Thanks again!
    BTW, I’m a student of yours and love your stuff! (and I’m not just kissing up 😉 )

    P.S. Can you recommend nice areas I can fly without DJI interfering?

  36. Turd Ferguson on December 13, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    This video perfectly explains why I’ll never fly a UAV that can be flight-restricted via it’s firmware. DJI makes great drones, but I prefer to have only one set of hands on my controller.

  37. ScubaStu on December 13, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    DJI needs to stay out of it.

  38. Mitch on December 13, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Just use Litchi.

  39. Alex L. on December 13, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    I wish i had known about this before i bought my dji drone if I knew that dji participated in this kind of anti user systems that deny control over your own hardware I would have probably gone with a different company, it would be one thing if it was just warnings or if it matched faa, but to disable functionality especially where it is perfectly legal to operate is not ok in my book.

  40. C Bear on December 13, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Greg, thanks for the video. It helps de-clutter the potential issues. So, I was playing around with areas I may want to fly and when I tried near San Luis Valley Rgnl/Bergman Fld (Alamosa CO), i noticed that I can select any date for this year. I randomly selected 6/22/2021 and the end date populated as 6/24/2021.(I didn’t actually submit it, I just wanted to see the steps.) Does this vary based on area, or possibly a change in the last couple of days? Just curious

  41. Ron Marvicsin on December 13, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    What is DJI doing telling ppl where and when you can fly? They are a Chinese company with out any federal jurisdiction. If I’m wrong please explain. Ty

  42. Blazin Crab on December 13, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Fck DJI. I’m sick of their geo lock

  43. speliotis on December 13, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    will definitely keep this video for reference…. Thank you Greg….

  44. Charlie on December 13, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Unlock doesn’t seem to be supported via mobile device.

  45. Just Me on December 13, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Hi . Great info.
    Question, In my area I Use DJI to Auth. a flight It says max alt. is 169 Ft…ok…. NOW, when I open Kittyhawk says max alt. 400 ft??? which one do I follow ~! 🙁 Please Advise

  46. Chimera Photography on December 13, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Way to make the DJI process so wordy just to make it sound so complicated…
    If you used more specific wording? You could’ve said those steps in half the time…

  47. flobie1kenobi on December 13, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    DJI really needs to drop their zones. Fine, keep the warnings, but trying to make their own standards on top of gov regulations, what a pain…

  48. JG N on December 13, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    I’m glad you’re addressing this! I stay safe from all zones, but it’s a bit frustrating sometimes.

  49. Cynthia Fuller on December 13, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Great info. Thanks

  50. drakejdf on December 13, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    What a pain.I just purchased a little Best Buy dji mini 2 and just want to be safe and not get into trouble.

Leave a Comment