Flying in No-Fly/Restricted Flight Zone


With FAA and airport permission, and relevant certifications, we tried to fly near a “No Fly” zone today, and when through the geofencing unlock process, yet DD would not allow us to fly. Why does DD not allow selection of a flight plan when we are allowed to fly within the region? I have been digging through the documentation and finally found that “No Fly Zones will be respected in the DroneDeploy app: Because the DJI platform for developers will not allow automated flights in No Fly Zones, our app WILL NOT allow you to fly within No Fly Zones, even if you have an exception from the relevant government parties in the area.”

DD pre-flight planning should denote this! so much time wasted only to find out that your application doesn’t allow for flight if it clips a no-fly zone we have permission and permits to be in!

Hi @Patrick_Meddaugh sorry that you ran into this- it could be more clearly explained within our interface. I have noted your feedback for our product team. Thank you.


This “feature” needs to be removed from DD. All it does is hinder operators who have permission to fly in the areas. While this was likely a neat feature to prevent liability prior to the Part 107 exemptions, there needs to be a way around this, otherwise we will be dropping DD from our flight planning and using another software. This is a deal-breaker for our operations atleast. Shame, the rest of the software works great.

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Just to chime in on this, I’ve just spent the last 3 days racking my brain going over this. Here is where I’ve run into huge issues. We’ve got permission much like Patrick here… and unable to conduct our missions…

Here is the kicker, we’ve been running this (under contract which is actually why this is a huge deal) successfully for the past 5 months.

Why all of a sudden this month can we no longer fly? Whatever changes you’ve made on your end is making me not a happy camper…

Become a huge issue and now liability because I can’t do the work I was tasked to do and have successfully done with DD up until late.

DroneDeploy hasn’t added anything to prevent you from flying. DJI has updated the SDK that we use though. We are also adding the ability for you to unlock these no fly zones from within DroneDeploy very soon so that should resolve it either way.

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Chase, that is great to know, but how long is something like this expected? Can fly in the area no problems through DJI app, just not automated missions which is actually the killer.

Can something like this be rushed?

We’re doing government work near the boarder, and this has put my monthly photos well… 1 month behind. Not sure of any other work arounds either or I would of taken them…

I would add similar thoughts to @rancor13, our field work has suggested otherwise that something within DD is preventing us from flying within the DJI Geofenced areas. We were recently flying near an airport mapping some riparian areas, and one of our flight plans clipped an authorization area of DJIs. I would suggest several following features.

  1. in mission planning, these geofenced areas should be shown, and the user notified if a flight plan clips an area. This currently does not happen for us. i would call this a mission critical feature, as we are sometimes driving multiple hours to our sites, and to find out that an application doesn’t work is a liability we cannot afford.

  2. We had already unlocked the P4 using the DJI process, and had permission and permits from both the FAA as well as ATC for the airport. Finding out after they had shut down the runways for us to fly that your application prevented us from doing our job was, well, not good.

If DD hasn’t added anything to prevent us from flying, then you need to review the SDK and see what is stopping us. Perhaps a pre-existing feature is now fighting the DJI SDK.

Also, @chasemgray, your own website contradicts your statement. See the text below.

“No Fly Zones will be respected in the DroneDeploy app: Because the DJI platform for developers will not allow automated flights in No Fly Zones, our app WILL NOT allow you to fly within No Fly Zones, even if you have an exception from the relevant government parties in the area.” taken from the following page.

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The website states what DJI originally told us, but we have heard from some users that unlocking in DJI Go does not unlock within a 3rd party app for them, not sure why. Either way, like I said this is getting in very soon.
Like I said, DD didn’t add anything to prevent users from flying, DJI fully rolled out their geo features recently and the SDK was behind. We have been adding support for it and it will be out soon.

@chasemgray Sounds like we are on the same page. We did go through the DJI Go application and the unlock process, but it did not unlock in DD. Then viewing that statement on your page lead me to believe it was DD preventing the flight, sounds like you guys are aware of it and working on it.

Yes, sorry you’re having problems. I reached out to our product people to make sure it’s one of the highest priorities for the next release coming out.

Chase, thanks for the input…

Do we have ANY sort of estimate of when this will be done? Or osmething that can be rolled out to our accounts individually quicker? Just because it’s highly important need to get these missions done. Thanks for your responses.

@rancor13 you might have to look into alternate mapping programs for the time being. We are currently exploring alternates.

@Patrick_Meddaugh has your research into other mapping programs turned up anything? I have a potential job coming up in a month or so at an airport and need a mapping program that will let me fly in the no fly zone.


Ok last post was from November 2016 and even if I did log in and unlock positively the nearby NFZ in DJI Go 4 (Mavic Pro) DD still refuses to upload my plan and tells me at the bottom with a red circle ‘Near NFZ’

I did respect this here (out of DD support):

“How does DroneDeploy interact with DJI Phantom when DJI has implemented the unlock No-Fly Zone license?
If you open up the DJI Go app first and unlock the drone to fly, and then open up DroneDeploy, you will be able to fly.”

  • ‘near’ my plan touches nowhere the NFZ and btw. the yellow authorization zone is positively unlocked in the DJI Go 4 app!?

Any proposals why this is (still) happening and better what to do???



DJI SDK has some issues with no fly zones at the moment. They are releasing an update soon that should let 3rd parties fly again in no fly zones.

Ok - same state like in November 2016 , but ok what can you do?!

So anyway thx for the quick reply!!

Any update on this issue?

We moved away from DD for the time being, and have been exploring Kittyhawk as a more enterprise level solution. We also have been writing off drone flights in or or near restricted areas because most of our project budgets can’t support the necessary coordination and spin up time prior to the flights.

No Fly Zone support is coming in the next release or two. Sorry for the delay. We now have support in the DJI SDK.

I’m looking forward to this as well. Thanks for working on it. My job is adjacent to an airport, and a portion of the airport itself. I’m mapping a campground next to the airport and an industrial park on the airport both for the city. I have part 107 certification and am legal to fly this, but need it unlocked in the drone (Mavic Pro).

Otherwise, I’m thrilled with DD