The World’s Biggest Drone Maker Is Forcing Aussies Pass A Test To Fly

Folks who own DJI drones will have to pass a nine-question quiz next time they plan on taking to the skies. It’s all part of a new initiative launched earlier this week that aims to combat the risky drone behaviour of the past year.

Working with Australia‘s Civil Aviation and Safety Authority, the company’s app will now automatically present the quiz to users, who will need to answer all nine questions correctly before they’re allowed to take off.

Last year, 32 Aussie drone pilots were fined for dangerous flying and “hundreds” received written notices. DJI’s head of public policy for the Asia Pacific region, Adam Welsh, says the exam aims to ensure users know how to safely and legally pilot drones in Australia.

“The majority of our users are flying in a safe and responsible manner but this is just to make sure everyone understands the rules,” he said. “Not everyone might have looked at the CASA rules.”

The quiz will pop up in both the DJI Go and Go 4 apps before the drone can be launched, and will even be administered to foreign drone users who plan on flying one while in the country.

“If you come to see the Commonwealth Games, for example, once you activate the app it will detect you’re in Australia and prompt you to take the quiz,” Welsh said. “Everyone should know the rules.”

Similar tests have already been deployed by DJI in the US and UK, and have been running since December last year.

“It should reinforce to everyone who owns a drone that there are responsibilities that come with that and one them is understanding the laws around flying drones,” said CASA spokesman, Peter Gibson.

“Most people who fly drones do so recreationally and they’re not required to have a pilot’s licence and there’s no registration system.”

In Australia, drones must not be flown within 30 metres of other people, can only be flown during daylight, must not go higher than 120 metres, and cannot go within 5.5km of an airport.

Having successfully sliced open my finger on the propeller of a relatively small drone, this is definitely a good thing, folks. Drones, as cool as they are, can certainly be a hazard if not used correctly.