Adam Lisberg is Corporate Communication Director, North America, for DJI.  DJI is the world’s largest maker of personal and professional drones. Adam came to the drone world following a successful career in newspapers, from covering murders and fires in Chicago and New York to writing a Sunday column in the New York Daily News as the City Hall bureau chief. He was later head spokesman for the MTA, New York’s transit agency, steering its public communications through train derailments, Hurricane Sandy and other crises. Adam now leads DJI’s messaging on critical policy and regulatory issues affecting how drones are used in America. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Adam talks about a recent blue ribbon task force report on UAS Mitigation at Airports, the lack of verifiable data on drone incursions and the efforts by DJI to create safer drones and safer skies.


Key Points
  • All the good things that drones can do have to get balanced against the concerns, legitimate concerns that people have about privacy, security and especially safety. Well, there are answers for those questions.
  • Airports do not have the tools to effectively assess a report of the drone. This is an area where airports do not have lot of experience.DJI Airspace Safety Initiative. A commitment to geo-fencing, which began nearly five years ago and has evolved to delineating airspace around airports and above prisons and military installations and other locations that could cause trouble.
  • DJI Airspace Safety Initiatives
    • Investments in hardware technology, everything from batteries that can monitor their condition and prevent operators from taking off if there’s a problem with a battery or if it’s doesn’t have enough charge.
    • An automatic return to home system so that if the drone loses contact with the remote controller in the pilot’s hands or if the batteries reach a critically low level, it will stop what it’s doing automatically.
    • Aeroscope – A working remote ID system. Every drone that DJI makes transmits its serial number, its location, its position, its direction, its speed, and also the location of the drone pilot holding the controller in their hands.
    • DJI Airspace Safety Initiative. Starting next year, every new DJI drone above 250 grams will have an Air Sense receiver built into it that will warn the operator of an approaching airplane or helicopter.
    • DJI Airspace Safety Initiative. DJI Knowledge Quiz that requires people who fly drones to pass a multiple question test about basic factors and drone flight before it will let them take off.
    • “Elevating Safety” is DJI’s 10-point plan to keep the skies safe.  It contains recommendations for DJI, other manufacturers and the federal government to collectively advance safety.
  • The technology for remote id is available, but the specific configuration and system still needs to be decided. It is up to the FAA to recommend the technology path forward.
  • In the meantime, without a mandatory remote ID system, it’s a real challenge for security agencies, airports and other asset managers to respond to situations.
  • It is no exaggeration to say the lack of a mandatory remote ID system is really holding back the entire drone industry on a number of points.
  • Federal,  state and local authorities need proper tools to deal with the rare cases of drones being used improperly. That includes proper enforcement of rules and penalties.
  • Local authorities need the tools, both legal and technical, to deal with drones in a true emergency situation.
  • The public responds to headlines they see, good or bad. One day they see a story about a drone saving someone’s life and the next day they see a story about a drone that may have hit an airplane. They’re going to come away with a pretty mixed impression.
  • Drone pilots know that most drone pilots want to fly safely and responsibly. They want the tools to do it well. They want the education and the systems that let them be a safe member of the airspace and to do good things with them.
  • All the good things that drones can do have to get balanced against the legitimate concerns that people have about privacy, security, and especially safety.
  • It is up to responsible drone operators and drone companies to make sure that the world knows about all the good things that drones do, and all the systems that help ensure safety for drones.
Mentioned Links