Drone Laws in Romania (Everything You Need to Know)

Romania is a beautiful country to visit and fly drones, with impressive landscapes and places for unique aerial shots, such as Transalpina, Transfagarasan, Cheile Bicazului, and more. 

Drone Laws in Romania (Everything You Need to Know)

Or maybe you want to capture some aerial shots of Dracula Castle? It’s doable here!

Like in any other country, there are drone laws in Romania, and in this case, they are enforced by the RCAA. EASA also implements drone laws at the European level.

Romania has adopted its requirements, restriction zones, and registration process under EASA.

For this reason, drone registration can be confusing. We’re here to help.

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Summary of drone laws in Romania

Drones are allowed in Romania for both personal and commercial use.

However, depending on your flight category, you must have the required certificates plus registration to fly a drone.

Here is an overview of Romania’s drone laws.

  • Drones can fly in Romania under EASA drone laws (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).
  • Romanian CAA supervises and implements drone restrictions in Romania.
  • Drones must be registered in Romania only if the drone needs a certificate of airworthiness or restricted certificate issued by RCAA, solely if the risk of the operation requires it. According to EASA, drones in the Open category do not need to be registered.
  • You must register as a drone operator in Romania to fly a drone. The drone Operator ID will be applicable in all EASA member states.
  • You must display a label with your Operator ID on any drone you fly.
  • If required, you must undertake the competency A1/A3 exam and, optionally, if needed, A2. The Certificate A1/A3 will be mandatory for drones above 250 grams and will be available for 5 years.; for drones under 250 grams, you only need to register as a drone operator.
  • You must fly your drone under a maximum height of 120 meters (400 feet).
  • You must always fly with your drone in your visual line of sight.
  • Always check if you’re allowed to fly your drone in your area with UAS geographical zones and/or if you need further approval to fly your drone.
  • You cannot fly your drone over densely populated areas without special permission from the RCAA.
  • Don’t fly above uninvolved people; keep a safe distance from others.
  • You may need approval from the Ministry of National Defense for aerial filming/photography activities or photogrammetry and from the entity if you want to fly in the Open category ONLY in some restricted airspace, where the entity is the responsible party (e.g., control tower).
  • In the Open category, the drone must have a mass of less than 25 kilograms at takeoff.
  • Don’t use your drone for any kind of dangerous transportation.

» MORE: Can You Fly A Drone Over People? (Hobby and Commercial)

Where can I fly my drone in Romania?

flying drone romania
Photo by Gabriel Mihalcea

Drone flight is allowed across the country. However, some areas have restrictions, from airports to prisons, but most are from military exercise sites.

Since the war with Ukraine, Romania has often conducted military training, including aerial flights. In our case, as drone operators, all these areas are restricted.

These restrictions can be as long as hundreds of miles across the west to the east part of the country. However, they are temporary. 

That’s why the best approach is to use the UAS Geographical Zones map for drones, a unique mapping program in Romania (part of the EASA identical mapping program) that will show all restricted areas where you cannot fly a drone, where the restrictions end, appropriate parties to apply for authorization.

» MORE: Can You Fly a Drone in Switzerland?

Using UAS Geographical Zones (map)

Here is the link to the UAS Geographical Zones map for Romania. You should save this link on your computer and mobile phone if you plan to fly your drone in the country.

As a note, DJI follows the same geolocation restrictions in Romania, but it is best always to check the UAS Geographical Zones.

On the right corner of the map, you will find the overlay with two zones: Current restrictions issued by NOTAM (orange) and Restricted zones for UAS (purple).

The yellow zones are active restrictions in place by NOTAM across the country, where you cannot fly any drone without approval. However, in some areas, you may be able to. 

To find out more about the area, just click on the orange restricted zone, and you will find all the contact information required for permission.

The purple zones are restricted for UAS, but most are inactive restrictions that could be activated at any time, usually for military exercises. 

Clicking on any purple area, you will find all the information required if the zone is restricted, including phone numbers, email addresses, and the code for the area if you will be required to apply for permission to fly a drone there.

The Romania map looks heavy with restrictions (if you enable both layers), but most are inactive, and as far as we know, you can freely fly a drone without approval.

Moreover, if you are unsure, email or phone the required party and request information if the area you want to fly the drone is restricted.

Sometimes, DJI may restrict you from taking off with your drone. If this happens in an unrestricted area or you have the required approvals to fly a drone there, you must unlock your DJI geo-restricted area.

» MORE: What Happens if You Fly a Drone in Restricted Airspace? (Important)

What is EASA, and how does this affect drone laws in Romania?

EASA is responsible for drone laws across 27 European Union countries, plus four more (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). 

From this point, every country may have developed restrictions in place and have its registration process for EASA Operator ID and A1/A3 + A2 certificates, but the general drone laws are widely shared.

Be aware that EASA does not issue A1/A3 and A2 certificates nor Operator IDs. This falls on the state member where you want to take the competency certificate and register.

If you register for an Operator ID in any European country under EASA laws (including Romania), it will be available and active across all states.

The same goes for having an A1/A3 and A2 certificate of competency. If you take them in Romania, you can fly your drone under any EASA state member. 

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Europe?

Drone laws in Romania, in detail

  • Controversially, from what some drone bloggers say, you do not need permission from the Ministry of National Defense to film or photograph with a drone. This applies only to some restricted airspace.
  • In exchange, if you want to do photogrammetry, you may need to apply for authorization in many areas with possible restrictions, even if you can fly the drone there.
  • Romanian CAA supervises and implements drone regulations in Romania, but EASA creates, changes, updates, and implements drone laws across all European state members and four more.
  • If you want to fly a drone in Romania, the minimum you must do is register as a drone operator and get your Operator ID (it’s free). You can fly only with drones under 250 grams, classified under the C0 & A1 category and subcategory. 
  • If you want to fly your drone in the Open category above 250 grams but below 25 kilograms, you must get the A1/A3 certificate of competency and A2 if required. (source)
  • The certificates of competency and Operator ID can be acquired even in other countries and used in Romania, according to EASA, and the ones obtained in Romania can be used across EASA countries (source 1source 2).
  • Always keep your drone in your visual line of sight. You can also use an observer or more and directly communicate with them to keep the drone in a visual line of sight, especially if you are flying FPV drones.
  • Indeed, if you fly FPV, by law, you must have a spotter – which keeps the drone in the VLOS and communicates with you.
  • Always fly under 120 meters. This is the maximum altitude at which you can fly your drone without special permission from RCAA. Above that threshold, you will enter the national airspace where planes usually fly. However, you can fly above 120 meters if you are closer than 50 meters to a taller object (e.g., tower, cliff, etc.) and don’t go more than 15 meters up from the top. (source)
  • Flying a drone over densely populated areas and groups or assembly of people is forbidden even for drones under the C0 category. You will need special permission from the RCAA to do that.
  • Flying a drone over or close to uninvolved people will depend on the category of your drone (see below subcategories section). In detail, on the CE Class Mark 2 and subcategory A2, you have to follow the 1:1 rule. If you fly at an X height (e.g., 50 meters), you should keep the distance from uninvolved people at the same distance as Y (same 50 meters) but a minimum distance of 30 meters. For an 80-meter height flight, keep a distance of 80 meters from people. (source)
  • You must display a label with your Operator ID on any drones you fly. It’s the same ID you got when registering as a drone operator. The same code and label can go across a dozen drones, even custom FPV builds. (source)
  • Across the EASA website, there is often a mention of remote identification (Remote ID), including on Romanian CAA. Still, there are no laws and regulations in place requiring a pilot to have a Remote ID device or setup. 
  • You don’t need to register a drone in Romania, but I highly recommend doing so. It is not mandatory for the Open category, but it takes two minutes and costs nothing. (source)
  • The minimum age for remote pilots of drones in Open and Specific categories is 16 years old.

» MORE: How Much Do Drone Pilots Make (Drone Pilot Salary)

What are drone classes and subcategories in Romania?

  • C0 – The weight of the drone is under 250 grams. 
  • C1 – Your drone weighs up to 900 grams.
  • C2 – This class covers drones weighing up to 4 kilograms.
  • C3 – Drone weights up to 25 kilograms.
  • C4 – Same as C3, the drone will weigh up to 25 kilograms.

A1 – The A1 subcategory covers drones from the C0 and C1 categories and custom-built drones. Drones from the A1 category are usually lightweight drones with few restrictions if you want to fly close to or above uninvolved people.

A2 – This subcategory covers drones from the C2 category. The drones from the A2 category may require you to keep a minimum distance of 50 meters from uninvolved people (and 30 meters for the C2 subcategory). (source)

A3 – This covers drones from C3 and C4 categories. Within the A3 subcategory are drones under 25 kilograms. You should keep a minimum distance of 150 meters from industrial, residential, or commercial areas. 

Note: Drones that are covered under A1 or A2 subcategories can be used under the A3 subcategory.

Check the following external source if you want to know more about which subcategory you can fly under in the Open category.

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Ireland?  

How to get an Operator ID number in Romania

Important Notes: To register as a drone operator in Romania, you must have a Romanian ID and address for the application form. Alternatively, you can use any other country to register as a drone operator, which is available in Romania under EASA laws and regulations.

In this article, we explained in depth the best way to register as an operator and obtain a competency A1/A3 certificate with EASA.

To register as a drone operator in Romania, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Enter the Romania CAA website at www.caa.ro.
  • Step 2: If required, click on the top right side English flag (language). Otherwise, the website will be in Romanian.
  • Step 3: Scroll down and click on Professionalism: Drone Applications. 
  • Step 4: Click the Register button near the login credentials. 
  • Step 5: Verify your email address.
  • Step 6: Refresh the above page. You should be automatically signed in to your account. If not, go back to step 4 and insert your credentials.
  • Step 7 (optional): Click Administrare Cont and Personal Info to see if your language is set to English. The website is not optimized correctly and will be a mixture of English and Romanian.
  • Step 8: Following the process, click on the highlighted box (“Completeaza toate datele din profile…”). The process from this point is in Romanian, and you cannot change the language to English entirely.
  • Step 9: Complete the personal data.

» MORE: How to Register a Drone in Italy (Read This First)

How to get A1/A3 certificates on CAA Romania

Once you have registered as a drone operator in Romania, on the main page, you should see the A1/A3 and A2 options to take an exam and also documentation on the right side.

During the A1/A3 exam on Romanian CAA, you have 40 questions and must respond correctly to a minimum of 30 questions (75 percent pass mark).

Honestly, the didactic way we learn about drone laws and regulations in Romania is insufficient for the exam.

The questions on the A1/A3 certificate differ from what we are taught. Most information you can find on the EASA website.

» MORE: Can You Fly a Drone in Rome?

Can you fly FPV drones in Romania?

Yes, you can fly FPV drones in Romania, and you should follow the same EASA laws and regulations imposed by the Romanian CAA as with standard drones.

The only difference is that with FPV drones, you cannot see the drone because you will have goggles on your head. 

For this reason, you must have an observer with you.

An observer keeps the drone in their visual sight while you fly it with the headset and communicates with you.

Also, be aware of the lack of safety features in an FPV drone and how you fly it. The authorities will quickly question you if they’ll see a chaotic FPV drone flight.

» MORE: FPV Drones vs. Regular Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Can you travel to Romania with a drone?

Yes, you can travel to Romania from other countries with a drone by plane, car, or cruise ship.

To board a drone on a plane will depend mostly on the country where you board from and the airline you fly with.

Most companies will allow you to bring a drone in a plane. However, you should:

  • Remove the battery from the drone, take it with you in a carry-on bag, and place it in the compartment in the plane above your head. Never put a drone battery in the cargo hold luggage area because that zone is uncontrolled by atmospheric pressure and temperature. This includes your drone remote controller.
  • Ensure you check with your airline the maximum wattage of LiPo batteries you can take. Generally, even with three drone batteries, you should be fine.
  • Have your EASA drone operator certificate and the certificate of competency, if required, for your drone.

I have personally flown from and to Romania with different airlines from multiple countries and different drones without any issues or questions asked.

» MORE: Bringing a Drone on a Plane – Ultimate Guide

Here are the contact details of EASA and the Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority if you need more questions or have an issue.

  • EASA Official Website – Link Here
  • EASA Drone Section – Link Here
  • Contact Details: Follow this Link (already in the Drone section) and scroll down. You need to fill out the form.
  • General EASA contact details: This can be found here.
  • Romanian CAA official website – Link Here
  • Phone number: +
  • Fax: +40 21 208 15 72
  • Email: contact@caa.ro
  • Address: Sos. Bucuresti-Ploiesti, Nr. 38-40, sector 1, Bucuresti, România. Postal Code: 013695
  • More contact information: Can be found here

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Germany? 

INTERGEO 2023 in Berlin: Even More Focus on Drones

INTERGEO 2023INTERGEO is the world’s largest GIS show, held each year in a different German community.  This year, INTERGEO 2023 will be held in Berlin, October 10-12.

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Drones have been a critical tool in surveying since they became common in commercial use, and INTERGEO has adapted to showcase new drone technology and the software ecosystem.  INTERGEO features the co-located Interaerial Solutions, offering a dedicated exhibition floor, live flight demos and a stage for drone-focused sessions.

In addition, this year INTERGEO announced they would add an Unmanned Systems theme: all about UAV technology.  If you’re attending INTERGEO next month, here are just some of the Unmanned Systems sessions you won’t want to miss.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, 02.00 p.m.-03.00 p.m.: UAV PHOTOGRAMMETRY WORKFLOW – REVISITED

“Here, the workflow of photogrammetric data acquisition with UAVs will be examined and analyzed, taking into account new findings or developments,” says INTERGEO. Includes “Georeferencing – just push the button?”; “More than just XYZ – on the automatic interpretation of 3D point clouds”; “UAV sensors and their calibration”; and “From points to 3D models – a (short) story of man, machine, and A.I.”

  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 09.30 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.: UAV APPLICATIONS IN PUBLIC SECTOR

From bridge inspection to documenting and preserving cultural heritage sites, experts dicuss whether the technology is up to the job – and if laws and regulations allow it.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 11:30 a.m. – 12.15 p.m.: USE CASES, APPLICATIONS AND INNOVATIONS

Multimodal UAV data in environmental monitoring and the fusion of different data sources; the possibilities of multispectral systems for agriculture to increase agricultural yields.

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 12.45 p.m. – 02.00 p.m.: WHAT’S NEXT – OUTLOOK TO THE FUTURE

Autonomous flying robotic swarms, the future of autonomous aviation and U-Space.

“Unmanned Systems” offers a unique opportunity to dive deep into the world of UAV technologies and learn from experts. The number of participants is limited. There is a fee for the event.

When you’re there, take the time to check out our friends, partners and heroes on the exhibit floor!

Autel Robotics

Commercial drone manufacturer.

Hall 5.2, Booth D5.020

Blue Marble Geographics

Advanced photogrammetric software.

Hall 1.2, Booth C1.044

Carlson Software,  Inc.

CAD Design Software for construction and mining applications

Hall 27, Booth E27.28


Commercial drone manufacturer.

Hall 27, Booth C27.54


Drones for confined spaces.

Hall 27, Booth G27.20

ParaZero Technologies

Autonomous drone safety technology.

Hall 5.2, Booth D5.017


Makers of the Correlator 3D Mapping Platform

Hall 27, Booth  A27.01

Read more:

Skyfront Perimeter 8 Receives First Green UAS Certification from AUVSI

Skyfront Perimeter 8 AUVSI Green UAS certificateSkyfront Perimeter 8 and Perimeter 8+  first to receive ‘Green UAS Cleared’ drone security certification

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AUVSI’s Green UAS program serves as an independent assessment and verification of cybersecurity and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) compliance.

The Department of Defense Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) developed the Blue sUAS program in 2020, with a list of 5 “trusted” platforms.  The program has since been adopted by the US government procurement office and other federal agencies, as well as some states, as the standard for cybersecurity.  With limited capacity to test all aircraft that might qualify, and a necessary focus on those aircraft most useful to the Department of Defense, the Blue sUAS program has been unable to meet the demand from drone manufacturers.  The Green UAS program was designed by AUVSI in collaboration with the DIU to help increase access to third party evaluation and increase the field of secure platforms, granting customers more choice.

“The Green UAS framework is built off the Blue UAS certification program but is designed for customers who do not immediately require a DoD authority to operate (ATO). Green UAS cleared drones can benefit from a streamlined pathway from Green to Blue if a DoD sponsor is secured,” says AUVSI.  “Green UAS certification is part of AUVSI’s broader Trusted Cyber Certification program, which focuses on systems in the air, ground, and maritime domains. The AUVSI Trusted program will also be expanded to include certifications for specific user industries or system domains.”

For Skyfront, the Green UAS certification process included a review of Perimeter 8 and 8+’s product security, including all components and subcomponents, remote operations security, supply chain risk management and a review of Skyfront’s corporate cyber hygiene.  There are 14 other platforms engaged in the Green UAS certification process.

“Customers are more aware than ever about the value drones can provide in their operations – but so too are they more aware than ever about possible cybersecurity challenges autonomous systems pose to organizations,” said Troy Mestler, CEO of Skyfront. “Skyfront is proud to offer the first platform to pass the Green UAS certification process, which was rigorous and detailed. We look forward to demonstrating the advantages the Perimeter 8 can provide to users in need of a broad mission-set system that can carry large payloads for long durations with the highest security assurances available.”

“AUVSI commends Skyfront for successfully designing, manufacturing and obtaining certification for a drone that meets the highest levels of cyber and supply chain security,” said Michael Robbins, Chief Advocacy Officer at AUVSI. “With more than a dozen other companies in various stages of the review process, the Perimeter 8 and 8+ will be the first of many Green UAS certifications to come. We anticipate a robust government and commercial marketplace for secure platforms on the Green UAS cleared list as more platforms are certified in the months ahead.”

Read more:

Drone Search and Rescue Operations on the Drone Radio Show Podcast: 2D Dummies

drone search and rescue on drone radio show podcastDrone search and rescue operations on the Drone Radio Show Podcast! The CEO of 2D Dummies speaks with host Randy Goers about public safety training. Stream below:

Roger Hall is CEO and Founder of 2D Dummies.  2D Dummies is reshaping the future of public safety training with their patent-pending, two-dimensional rescue manikins.  Designed to precisely simulate the physical attributes & thermal signature of the human body, the 2D DUMMY is the ultimate solution for heightening the authenticity of training drills for public safety professionals.  The 2D dimensional manikins have been used to enhance UAS search and rescue teams in variety of training scenarios, including firefighting, law enforcement, and military settings. 

 Roger is a retired firefighter with a 25-year career in New Hampshire and a passion for aviation. Holding both FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot and Part 61 Sport Pilot Certificates, Roger transitioned into the field of unmanned aerial systems after retirement. As one of DARTdrones’ first UAS instructors, he has trained over 1,000 individuals and co-developed their Part 107 and Public Safety Training programs.  

 Always seeking to introduce reality into his training sessions, he developed a 2D dummy as a prop.  Continued refinement and feedback led him to produce a life-like 2D Dummy that enhances public safety UAS search and rescue training. 

 In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Roger talks about how 2D Dummies are used to enhance search and rescue capabilities and build emotional resilience within organizations.   

Missed an episode?  Catch up here:

Virtual Surveyor Releases Newest Version of Smart Drone Surveying Software: Now with Photogrammetry

drone surveying, drone survey, photogrammetry

Created with GIMP

Virtual Surveyor Releases New Photogrammetry App: Completing Drone Survey Workflow

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by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Software company Virtual Surveyor has updated the newest version of its smart drone surveying software to include drone photogrammetry functionality. Photos are processed through the new Terrain Creator app to generate survey-grade terrains to be transferred to the Virtual Surveyor workspace to conduct survey work.

“Virtual Surveyor software is now two desktop apps in one subscription package that create a seamless end-to-end drone survey workflow to save time and money,” said Virtual Surveyor CEO Tom Op ‘t Eyndt. “Terrain Creator removes complexity from the drone photogrammetry process, offering a visual and intuitive application to produce an orthomosaic and digital surface model (DSM) from drone photos.”

Virtual Surveyor software was designed to link drone photogrammetric processing applications and engineering design packages. Prior to this release, users were required to use third-party software to create elevation models and an orthomosaic to be worked on with the Virtual Surveyor toolset to obtain the necessary 3D topographic information.

“Drone surveyors no longer have to spend money on a third-party photogrammetry package to convert their drone photos into an orthomosaic and DSMs,” said Op ‘t Eyndt. “It just comes with our package, and the fully integrated workflow eliminates the time spent porting photogrammetry products from another package into Virtual Surveyor.”

In the Virtual Surveyor desktop app, users can leverage its toolsets to create CAD models, cut-and-fill maps and calculations, or calculate volume reports.

Those already subscribers to Virtual Surveyor Ridge and Peak editions will receive an automatic update to Version 9.0 with Terrain Creator. Additionally, a flexible licensing setup for subscribing organizations will enable two users to access the Terrain Creator and Virtual Surveyor applications at the same time on two different computers.

Virtual Surveyor will showcase its new release at InterGEO 2023 (Hall 1.2, Stand D1.030) on October 10-12 in Berlin, Germany, as well as other trade fairs this autumn.

Read more:

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

DJI RC Pro Review (Everything You Need to Know)

Over the past year, there has been a lot of attention on the lower-cost DJI RC and, lately, the new DJI RC2, both with 5.5″ integrated screens.

DJI RC Pro Review (Everything You Need to Know)

Now, with the release of the Mavic 3 Pro, there has been a renewed interest in the two-year-old DJI RC Pro, currently, the best remote controller you can use with the professional powerhouse.

In this article, we’ll be doing a renewed deep dive into the professional grade DJI RC Pro’s:

  • Price
  • Build quality
  • Size and Weight
  • Sustained Screen Brightness, as well as
  • Various Features of the RC

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Benefits of the DJI RC Pro

The costly RC Pro is the successor to the ever-popular, albeit equally expensive, DJI Smart Controller.

As with the original smart controller, the RC Pro caters more to advanced drone pilots and commercial operators (professionals).

Integrated Screen

The original DJI Smart Controller perfected the Android-based, 5.5″ integrated screen, as seen in the subsequent three versions of smart controllers:

  • DJI RC Pro
  • DJI RC
  • DJI RC 2

The RC Pro continues the 5.5″ theme, however, unlike the DJI RC and DJI RC 2, the RC Pro benefits from a higher output screen, with a continued 1000-nit brightness.

» MORE: Best Drone Controllers


As noticed when looking at the RC Pro, the screen is built into the all-in-one device.

Because of this, it is not necessary to fly with a separate cellphone or electronic device.

The DJI Fly app is already loaded onto the remote controller, along with a full internet browser and other apps. All that needs to be done is sign into DJI Fly with your current DJI login or create a new one.

Since a cell phone is not required to fly with the RC Pro, getting the Mavic 3 Pro up in the air and flying takes noticeably less time than it would to go through the steps of pulling out a cell phone, attaching the cables, turning on the RC, and then opening the DJI Fly app.

With the DJI RC Pro, the process is simply turning on the Mavic 3 Pro and RC Pro and flying. Nice and quick.

Another major convenience is that because the RC Pro is an all-in-one, self-contained controller, there are no longer cables to remember to bring, meaning one less thing to cause possible issues when flying. Cables break or get lost.

The RC Pro has none required for flight.

» MORE: Does DJI Smart Controller Work with Mini 3 Pro (Explained)


Noticeably this Cost/Pricing section does not fall under the umbrella of the Benefits of the DJI RC Pro and with good reason.

The DJI RC Pro is a very costly investment. At close to $1100.00 the RC Pro is for serious hobbyists and drone professionals.

This pricing puts the RC Pro around $800.00 more than its sibling competitor, the DJI RC.

It has to be recognized though that quality comes at a price and the RC Pro surely demands a high price for what it offers, as we’ll be discussing shortly.

DJI RC Pro – 1000-Nit display


High-bright display, powerful performance, efficient control, outstanding audio, and video performance.

Buy from Amazon

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/24/2023 05:21 pm GMT

» MORE: Is the DJI RC Controller Worth it?


As a longtime user and fan of the Phantom 4 Pro series, the DJI RC Pro is reminiscent of the Phantom 4 Pro’s Plus controller in that the Plus controller was a solid piece of equipment and the RC Pro for the Mavic 3, Air 2S, and Mini 3 Pro is no different in build quality, although smaller and differently shaped.

The build quality of the RC Pro is top-notch. When in hand it is solid, with quality components.

There are currently no other DJI remote controllers, for the particular level of drones the RC Pro supports, with this build quality.

You’d have to go to the Enterprise versions for better.

The RC Pro can be compared to picking up an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera and immediately feeling the time, thought, and effort put into building it, as opposed to picking up an inexpensive simple point-and-shoot camera.

All of the buttons have a solid and definitive “click” to them, ensuring the selected input is locked in. The same goes for the flight mode switch.

The aluminum dials along the top of the remote controller are likewise quality-made and fluid.

The build quality even passes through to the exceptional spring-loaded flight sticks, which are a joy to fly with.

There isn’t much to be said about the shape of the RC Pro, as it follows the same rectangular design aesthetic of the previous Smart Controller, which has since been duplicated by the smaller DJI RC and DJI RC 2.

» MORE: Is DJI Mavic 3 Waterproof? (Explained)


The weight of the DJI RC Pro is 680g, whereas the lightest DJI Smart Controller, the DJI RC is 390g. The newer DJI RC 2 is 420g.

The DJI RC Pro actually weighs more than the beloved DJI Air 2S, about 85g more with the Air 2S weighing in at 595g.

The weight of the DJI RC Pro can indeed be felt when packed in either a travel bag or a photography backpack.

As I travel with the Air 3, DJI RC 2, Mavic 3 Pro, and RC Pro simultaneously, the weight definitely adds up.

Although just a rectangle, the controller sits in hand well and is actually slightly more comfortable than the newer DJI RCs in that it is somewhat larger in size, giving it a more stable feel.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Air 2S vs. Mini 3 Pro: Which One is Right for You?


Outside of the size and weight of the RC Pro, another noteworthy aspect of the all-in-one remote controller is the large integrated screen.

While the 5.5-inch screen is smaller than a standard non-max iPhone screen, it does have a higher sustained brightness.

The 5.5″ screen has a sustained 1000-nits of brightness. There are many who might feel that there are cell phones out there that are much brighter, however, the key here is sustained.

While those cellphone screens might initially be brighter, after extended use, the screen will dim, like with the iPhone.

So much so, in fact, they become quite unusable in bright, summerlike conditions.

As someone who regularly shoots lakefront locales for clients, in the bright Central Florida sun, none of the Apple or Android cellphones I have used were able to offer bright enough screens for sustained shoots. They all overheat, dim, and even shut down.

The RC Pro, on the other hand (along with DJI’s RC and RC 2), never once dimmed, even at full brightness, in bright, humid, and hot conditions.

The 1000-nit screen performed admirably.

Outside of the brightness of the screen, the display is FHD, and the images streamed to it are clear and fluid, running at a beautiful 1080p 60fps.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 vs. DJI Mini 3 Pro (Which One is Right for You?)


As mentioned prior, the DJI RC Pro runs a preloaded, Android version of the DJI Fly app.

Because the RC Pro is truly an Android-based smart device (just with the addition of control sticks and external antennas), the DJI Fly app looks and works exactly like the versions one would be used to using with their Android or iOS device.

As with those versions of the DJI Fly app, the RC Pro is able to update the firmware on the remote controller as well as initiate firmware updates on the drone and batteries connected to it.

Installable Apps (and How to Do It)

The DJI RC Pro, being an all-in-one flight solution, benefits from a much-loved feature: installable apps.

This is something fans of the DJI RC and DI RC 2 are missing out on.

While it is indeed nice to be able to go out flying with just a drone and remote controller, if needing to request on-the-fly LAANC approval, or check local weather conditions with apps such as ALOFT, B4UFLY, or UAV Forecast, one would generally need to pull out a cellphone.

With the ability to use downloaded apps that supply information, one would only need to have their RC Pro tethered to (sharing data with) their cell phone and then access the apps via the RC Pro for the live data.

In addition to just accessing drone-related apps, the DJI RC Pro is able to install most apps that can be accessed from the Android Store, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Installing 3rd Party Apps (Step-by-Step Guide)

There are multiple methods that can be used to install 3rd party apps on the DJI RC Pro, most of which are fairly confusing and time-consuming.

We’ll focus on one that might be a little easier to follow than others.

This method uses Google Play address links and an APK Downloader.

Step 1: While connected to either WiFi or your phone’s hotspot, go to the main home screen when in DJI Fly), by simultaneously pressing the back button and presing up on the 5d button.

dji rc pro controller

Step 2: Open Firefox

Step 3: Type Google Play in the Firefox search bar. When you find it (also shown as play.google.com/google-play), tap on it and it will open the Google Play Store.

Step 4: Once in the Google Play store page, tap the Search icon in the upper right and search for the app you’d like. In our case, we will be looking for the UAV Forecast app.

Type UAV Forecast (or the name of the app you are looking for), scroll down to it, and hit the Return key. Alternatively, press the one you’d like with your finger.

Step 5: You should see the UAV Forecast app install screen. We will not install it from here. Instead, on the bottom of the screen you’ll see the URL (link address).

Press and hold the URL. You should see COPY. Press COPY.

Now the link is copied. We will use a different app to download UAV Forecast.

Step 6: Open a new Firefox browser window by tapping the 1 (or another number in a box) at the bottom right of the screen.

Step 7: Tap the + (plus). This will open a new window.

Step 8: Type “apk downloader” for the search URL (link) and hit return.

You’ll see various options. Choose the one that says APK Downloader [Latest] Download Directly | (Evozi Official).

Step 8: At the Generate Download Link option, Paste your saved link from prior into the URL area (by tapping and holding the area and choosing Paste) and press Generate Download Link.

Step 9: Scroll down and press Click here to download (app name) now

Step 10: If asked, allow Firefox to access photos and media. Then press Download.

Step 11: The download will proceed, and then complete. Press Open.

Step 12: Firefox (for the first time opening a downloaded app), will inform you the RC Pro is not allowed to install unknown apps… Press Settings.

Step 13: Select the slider to Allow from this source.

Go back to Install unknown apps.

Step 14: Press Install.

Step 15: The App will install. Select Open to see the app.

To locate your app for usage after installation, from any screen press the Back button and press up on the 5d button. Once at the home screen right swipe.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 / Mini 3 Pro: How to Connect/Pair RC (Video)


Thankfully, considering the premium price of the DJI RC Pro, it is compatible with quite a few models of flagship and advanced DJI drones:

  • Mavic 3
  • Mavic 3 Cine
  • Mavic 3 Classic
  • Mavic 3 Pro
  • Mavic 3 Cine
  • Air 2S
  • Mini 3 Pro

As seen recently, with the release of the Air 3, there are new DJI drones using a different video transmission system.

Time will tell if DJI allows the newer model of drones to utilize the DJI RC Pro, or if they will release yet another high-end RC for the newer lines of drones.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Mavic 3 (Here’s my Choice)

OcuSync 3.0+

As of the writing of this article, DJI has introduced an updated version of the OcuSync technology, OcuSync 4.0.

The three compatible lines of drones that currently work with the DJI RC Pro (Mavic 3, Airs 2S, and Mini 3 Pro), all utilize the OcuSync 3.0+ video transmission system.

OcuSync 3.0+ can transmit video up to a maximum range of 7.45 miles (12km).

The transmission signal supports 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequency bands which, even in 2023, provides very strong and reliable anti-interference.

These numbers mean that, whether flying a Mavic 3, Air 2S, or Mini 3 Pro, the signal is stronger and cleaner, enabling one to fly in urban areas or areas with high interference, such as in a downtown setting or highly populated subdivisions, with confidence.

» MORE: DJI OcuSync 3.0 (Explained For Beginners)

Storage Options

The DJI RC Pro has internal storage and SD card storage. The internal storage is 32GB, while an SD card of the recommended size of 512GB can be used.

Why does the DJI RC Pro allow for two separate storage options?

The first reason is that the internal storage stores 11GB of files essential for running the remote controller and is needed for the DJI Fly app, with 21GB left over for user-defined content.

The second reason is that both the internal and SD card storage options can be used for storing screenshots and screen recordings, which are great for those who use this content for making drone-related tutorials.

Additionally, other files and content can be stored on the SD cards, which be used for 3rd party apps.

» MORE: Best SD Cards for DJI Mavic 3 (Classic / Pro / Cine)


The DJI RC Pro has a 5000 mAh battery allowing it to run for 3 hours, on the maximum brightness setting.

The RC Pro is not the longest-running smart controller in the DJI lineup, as the DJI RC is the longer-lasting of the RC Pro and RC 2, with a time of 4 hours.

To charge the internal battery, it’ll take approximately 1.5 hours for a fully depleted battery, using a 15v fast charger.

The remote controller uses a standard USB-C connection.

» MORE: DJI RC 2 Review (Everything You Need to Know)


Charging the DJI RC Pro is done by the following:

Step 1: Insert the USB-C end of the included USB-C cable into the USB-C port in the center of the RC Pro (between the SD card slot and the Mini HDMI port.

Step 2: Plug the standard USB end into a 65 or 100-watt PD charger.

The LED indicator lights on the face of the remote controller will flow and blink to signal charging.

» MORE: How Long to Charge DJI Mini 3 / Mini 3 Pro Controller (Explained)


To Pair the DJI RC Pro to another aircraft (other than the one it came in a combo with, in this instance, the Mini 3 Pro):

STEP 1: Turn on the DJI RC Pro. After it has booted up, and at the DJI Fly screen main-screen, tap the Connection Guide button on the DJI Fly app main screen.

Step 2: Select your appropriate aircraft. For our purposes, the Mini 3 Pro.

Step 3: There will most likely be an error message saying “Firmware version inconsistent. Update firmware before use”. Choose Continue.

The firmware will update, after which there will be a message stating the aircraft may need to be relinked. Tap OK.

Step 4: Power on the aircraft (after removing the gimbal cover and unfolding the arms).

Step 5: After searching for the Mini 3 Pro for a few seconds and failing to locate it, you’ll be presented with a message in blue stating “Unable to connect to aircraft“? Tap this message.

Step 7: You will then be presented with a pairing option. Press Pair and the RC Pro will go into pairing mode.

Step 8: Immediately press and hold the power button on the Mini 3 Pro for 4 seconds. It will make a single loud one-beep noise, after which it will connect.

Follow these same steps to connect to any of the DJI drones supported by the RC Pro .

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Not Pairing / Not Connecting (Why & How To Fix It)


As the controller for DJI’s flagship and advanced drones, we’ll look at all of the buttons, switches, and dials on the remote controller, as well as the functions they perform, which is a lot.

The face of the DJI RC Pro

  • Return to Home button (RTH)
    • When pressed and held, the drone will automatically return to the location marked as home in the DJI Fly app. RTH options can be adjusted.
  • Power Button (press then long-press-hold to turn on)
  • Flight Pause Button
  • 5D (directional) Control Knob
  • Back Button
  • Confirmation/C3 Custom Button. Can be customized as follows:
    • Recenter/Tilt Down Gimbal
    • Follow/FPV
    • Auxiliary Lights
    • Cruise Control
    • AE Lock On/Off
    • Increase EV
    • Decrease EV
    • Camera Settings
  • C3 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Aperture
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO
  • Cine, Normal, and Sport mode switch
    • Cine – slow smooth flight with dampened controls. Tailored for getting cinematic shots
    • Normal – straight out of the box, standard control speed
    • Sport – allows connected aircraft to fly at their maximum speeds. This mode turns off all obstacle-avoidance

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE Controller (All You Need to Know)

The back of the DJI RC Pro

  • C1 and C2 buttons. Can be customized as follows:
    • C1 Button
      • Recenter/Tilt Gimbal Down
      • Follow/FPV
      • Auxilliary Lights
      • Cruise Control
      • AE Lock On/Off
      • Increase EV
      • Decrease EV
      • Camera Settings
      • Switch Cameras
      • Plan Waypoint Flight
    • C2 Button
      • Recenter/Tilt Gimbal Down
      • Follow/FPV
      • Auxilliary Lights
      • Cruise Control
      • AE Lock On/Off
      • Increase EV
      • Decrease EV
      • Camera Settings
      • Switch Camera
      • Plan Waypoint Flight
  • 2 Slots to store the removable control sticks
  • 2 recessed mounting holes
  • Vent

» MORE: How Do I Update DJI RC Pro? (Step-by-Step Guide)

The top of the DJI RC Pro

  • 2 scroll wheels/dials.
    • Left dial
      • Gimbal up/down
    • Right Wheel/Dial. Can be customized as follows:
      • Zoom In/Out
      • Adjust Focal Length
      • Adjust EV
      • Adjust Shutter Speed
      • Adjust ISO
  • Video record button
  • Photo shutter button
  • 2 internal/integrated antennas
  • 2 rabbit ear adjustable antennas
  • LED Indicator Lights (Installed on the top but can be clearly seen from the Front)
    • 4 green LED: 75% – 100% battery life
    • 3 green LED: 50% – 75% battery life
    • 2 green LED: 25% – 50% battery life
    • 1 green LED: 0% – 25% battery life
  • LED Status Indicator Light Blinking Modes
    • Blinks blue: Linking with Aircraft
    • Blinks yellow: Low battery warning
    • Blinks cyan: Control sticks not centered
    • Blinks red: Smart Controller temp too high/aircraft battery level low
  • LED Status Indicator Light Solid Modes
    • Solid red: Aircraft not connected
    • Solid green: Aircraft connected
    • Solid yellow: Firmware update failed

» MORE: Are DJI Controllers Interchangeable? (What You Need to Know)

Button/Dial Modifiers

Additionally, there are modifiers or button and dial combinations that perform certain functions as well and can be changed:

  • C1 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO
  • C2 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO
  • Back Button + 5D Up – Home
  • Back Button + 5D Down – Shortcut Setting
  • Back Button + 5D Left – Recent
  • Back Button + Record – Screen Record
  • Back Button + Shutter – Screenshot
  • Back Button + Left Dial Wheel – Screen Brightness
  • Back Button + Right Dial – Sound Volume

» MORE: Can You Fly DJI Drones Without a Controller? (Explained)

The bottom of the DJI RC Pro

  • SD Card Slot
    • Can accept SD cards up to 512GB
  • Mini HDMI port – can connect a field monitor for sharing the main screen
  • USB-C Port
  • Mounting Holes – for lanyard clasps, etc.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro – How to Change Controller Settings (Explained)

Is the DJI RC Pro Better Than The DJI RC and DJI RC 2?

Looking at the DJI RC Pro from the standpoint of a part 107 certified drone operator running a multi-drone business, the RC Pro is better than any of the remote controllers out there, short of DJI’s enterprise specific controllers.

But, looking at this objectively, different people will see the DJI RC Pro differently.

For the casual hobbyiest that flies maybe a few times a month, the DJI RC Pro might not be appealing to them with such a high price tag.

Conversley, those who fly regularly, or those who rely on their drones for business purposes, the RC Pro could be the best option out there.

From a strictly feature perspective the DJI RC pro is indeed better than both the DJI RC and RC 2.

The RC Pro is 300-nits brighter than either controller.

This means that where the threshold of visibility for the RC and RC 2 in bright conditions might be in question, there is no contest with the RC Pro visibility, as it is clearly seen in all of the conditions I personally have put it through in Florida, without a matte screen protector or hood.

Then, there’s the ability to install and use 3rd party applications. While the process to install these apps is a fairly long and involved one, once it is done a few times, it gets much easier.

With the 3rd party apps, the RC Pro can finally be an all-in-one solution when flying, able to access and use the drone-related apps many of us have come to rely.

Additionally, in this regards, the controller can be used to binge media or whatever someone might want to do on it, similar to any Android or iOS smart device.

The added buttons also add quite a bit of flexibility, especially when used in conjunction with each other in combine sequences.

Once using this, it is hard to go back to “regular” controllers that do not have as much customization and flexibility options.

» MORE: DJI Avata Controller Options

Disadvantages of the DJI RC Pro

There is one glaring disadvantage to the RC Pro. That would price. Yes, the DJI RC Pro is well built and equally useful piece of equipment.

However, its high pricetag may keep some at bay.

When on a limited budget, one might opt to add to their fleet and buy a new drone instead of purchasing a DJI RC Pro.

A new Mini 3 Pro or even a standard standalone Air 3 with RC-N1 controller and 1 battery can be purchased at the price of a new RC Pro.

DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC)


Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

  • 4K/60fps Video
  • 48MP Photo
  • 34-min Flight Time
  • Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, Integrated RC and screen

Buy from Amazon

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2023 02:16 am GMT

DJI Air 3 (RC-N2)

  • Tele & Wide-Angle Dual Primary Cameras
  • 46-Min Max Flight Time
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing
  • 48MP Photos, 4K/60fps HDR, up to 20Km Video Transmission

Buy from Amazon

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2023 12:36 am GMT

Another disadvantage to buying an RC Pro, which is no fault of its own, is its being limited to the Mavic 3 line, Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S.

As mentioned earlier, there is no indication or hint that DJI will add backwards compatibility to the RC Pro.

However, if in the future the RC Pro works with the DJI Air 3 or newly released drone lines, limited compatibility would be a moot point.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Not Pairing/Connecting (Why and How to Fix It)

Is the DJI RC Pro Worth It?

Absolutely, without a doubt, especially for those either looking for a pro-level controller for business purposes or those who are very serious about flying their DJI drones.

The sheer amount of features on the RC Pro, coupled with it’s ergonomics and precise control make it a serious contender for those with the budget to acquire one, even being two years old.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 Beginners Guide (Step-by-Step Guide)

The New DJI Mini 4: Here’s What the Reviewers are Saying (and Why)

new DJI Mini 4New DJI Mini 4 Launches Today: Here’s What Reviewers Around the World Think

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DJI has launched their newest Mini – a powerful flying camera in a tiny form factor.  Reviewers around the world published their thoughts today: and they’re overwhelmingly glowing.  “Near-flawless,” says Digital Camera World.  “Aerial perfection,” says Pocket-Lint.  “DJI’s Mini 4 Pro sets a benchmark for small drones,” says Engadget.  “…the best sub-250g drone currently available,” says TechRadar.

What’s leading to the rave reviews of the DJI Mini 4?

New Features: Great Imagery, Plus Obstacle Avoidance and More

“The Mini 4 Pro perfectly marries professional-grade capabilities while keeping its hallmark lightweight design, offering unmatched freedom and adaptability,” said Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director at DJI. “This drone emerges as the ultimate all-rounder, designed to elevate your creative toolkit.”

The newest drone in the Mini series still weighs under 250 grams, to be regulation friendly.  (Remember that in the U.S., all drones used professionally must be registered, regardless of weight.)  Packaged in that small form factor is a high quality imaging package, complete with “True Vertical Shooting” capability designed for social media and smartphone playback.  Reviewers universally appreciated the image quality: “gorgeous,” was the adjective used more than once.

Slow motion action scenes?  DJI’s new Mini 4 Pro can shoot at higher framerates in 4K, and supports up to 100fps recording (an improvement over the 60fps on the DJI Mini 3 Pro.) HDR video has also been upgraded to 4K 60fps, compared to 4K 30fps on the Mini 3.

new DJI Mini 4The Mini 4 Pro also adds omnidirectional obstacle sensing, making it even easier to fly the drone safely.  “Complemented by an Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS), the drone features automatic braking and obstacle bypass, elevating in-flight security,” says the announcement.  The new sensors also improve the ActiveTrack feature, say pilots: the DJI Mini 4’s ActiveTrack 360 matches the functionality found on some of DJI’s larger drones.

The Mini 4 has an impressive flight endurance, offering up to 34 minutes of flight time or 45 minutes using the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.  While many reviewers commented that wind is generally a problem for smaller drones, they found that the Mini 4 did better than anticipated – and was able to deliver stable images even in moderately windy conditions.  “Confidence-inspiring,” said the Digital Camera World reviewer.

Enhanced Transmission

From the DJI Announcement:

Additionally, thanks to DJI’s flagship O4 video transmission enjoy ultra-responsive control and smooth 1080p/60fps FHD video transmission capability from distances of up to 20 km5. Enhance your shooting efficiency with Waypoint Flight’s automatic route function while minimizing operation fatigue with Cruise Control for long-distance, steady-state flights. The Mini 4 Pro’s Advanced Return-to-Home system automatically navigates a safe flight route back, facilitated by the AR RTH feature for more control during return flights.

There are other improvements offered in the Mini 4: even the addition of landing feet helping the drone can take off on an uneven surface. “An excellent change,” says Pocket Lint.

The Upshot: A Great Upgrade

Almost all reviewers agree that the DJI Mini 4 Pro adds some significant functionality and features  – and is well worth it for professional photographers or pilots passionate about content creation.  The entire Mini series are favorites, however – so pilots just starting out to hone their skills may be able to get a great deal on a Mini 2 or Mini 3, which are still great drones.

Read more:

A 45 Mile, Airport-to-Airport Drone Delivery in Alaska

RadioKAOS, CC BY-SA 3.0

ACUASI Demonstrates Airport to Airport Drone Delivery in Alaska

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian J. McNabb

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The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration recently completed an important milestone in the development of a local drone industry when their SeaHunter drone completed an uncrewed flight from Nenana Airport all the way to the Fairbanks International Airport, a 45-mile journey. Conducted by a University of Alaska Fairbanks research center, the test flight, (the first airport-to-airport UAV trip in the state), was designed to show new ways to integrate UAVs into commercial air operations. ACUASI, a division of the UAF Geophysical Institute, had previously run loop routes out of Fairbanks International to practice departures, arrivals, and runway approach practice. 

The Airport to Airport Drone Delivery Demonstration

“These are some of the first steps for drone deliveries across Alaska,” ACUASI Deputy Director Nick Adkins said of Friday’s flight. “With the control tower at FAI and a route along the Tanana River, the drone and support team encountered almost all of what is needed to fly from Fairbanks to Galena, for example. A flight like this allows testing and proving of command and control links, aircraft capability, detect and avoid technologies, controlled and uncontrolled airport operations, and integration of the drones and crew into the National Airspace System.”

The SeaHunter is a twin-engine, 299-lb UAV with a 16-foot wingspan. It carries enough fuel to run for over 10 hours. Due to FAA regulations, the test flight required the use of a chase vehicle, in this case a Robinson-44 helicopter. At Fairbanks Airport, the drone was required to integrate with local air-traffic control systems, but at Nenena, which is a smaller airport, it used common radio frequencies to signal to other local pilots in the area. 

airport to airport drone delivery

The SeaHunter drone of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration flies to Fairbanks International Airport from Nenana on Sept. 8, 2023. Photo by Nick Adkins

“What we are doing is demonstrating that drones can and will be able to integrate into normal operations at airports,” Adkins said.

UAF is one of seven FAA-designated unmanned aircraft systems test sites established to develop and test drone technology. ACUASI also sponsored the first Global Autonomous Systems Conference last month in Anchorage. The 2024 conference is scheduled for Aug. 13-15 and will again be held at Anchorage’s Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center.

Read more:

Ian McNabb is a staff writer based in Boston, MA. His interests include geopolitics, emerging technologies, environmental sustainability, and Boston College sports.

FLOCON 2024 Announced: Florida’s Public Safety Drone Operations Conference

FLOCON, Florida public safety drone conference, DRONERESPONDERSDates and Location Announced for 2024 Florida Public Safety Drone Operations Conference (FLOCON)

Event will showcase new technology and educate first responders on the use of Drones For Good®

The DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Coordination Group (FLOGRU) announced today that the 2024 Florida Public Safety Drone Operations Conference (FLOCON) will be held from February 20-22, 2024, in Auburndale, FL.  FLOCON will unite first responders from across Florida and other regions who are using small, uncrewed aircraft systems (sUAS) for a wide variety of life and safety missions.

FLOCON 2024 will build off the inaugural event held in March 2023 by offering additional classroom education combined with targeted clinics on the tactical use of sUAS for real-world law enforcement, fire rescue, and disaster response missions.  Live demonstrations of products and equipment for the ecosystem surrounding public safety drone operations will also be featured.

“What makes FLOCON unique compared to other public safety UAS training events is that it is entirely produced by first responders for first responders,” says Christopher Todd, Executive Director of AIRT – the official home of the DRONERESPONDERS program.  “FLOCON participants will learn in a safe and productive environment enabling them to become more proficient at operating drones to help save lives and protect property.”

SunTrax, a large-scale innovative facility developed by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and dedicated to the research, development, and testing of emerging transportation technologies in safe and controlled environments, will again serve as the official host venue for FLOCON.

“SunTrax is a world-class facility that provides an ideal venue for our goal of safely and effectively training first responders and emergency services professionals in the use of drones in compliance with Florida law,” said Sgt. Robert Dooley, UAV Program Coordinator for the Florida Highway Patrol and leadership team member for the DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Coordination Group (FLOGRU).  “FLOCON 2024 will feature a robust program offering classroom-style education combined with outdoor flight clinics to provide comprehensive training for attendees.”

FLOCON has already helped train over 200 public safety agency members on how to operate drones for incident and disaster response.  Organizers say FLOCON 2024 will increase capacity to accommodate additional attendees.

“SunTrax is excited to return this year as the official host venue for FLOCON 2024,” said Pamela Foster, SunTrax Strategic Development Manager for Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. 

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Google’s Wing Makes Key Hires as they Expand Drone Delivery

wing and Walmart drone delivery, Wing new hiresWing’s New Hires Will Lead Company to Expanded Drone Delivery Around the World

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Google’s Wing is focused on expanding drone delivery networks around the world – bringing residential drone delivery to major metro areas.  Now, the company has made appointments to 2 key leadership positions: welcoming Martín Gomez as Chief Technology Officer and Cosimo Leipold as Global Head of Partnerships.  Long-time CTO Adam Woodworth was named as Wing’s CEO last year.

Wing’s new hires will take critical roles as the company moves forward to realize the Wing Delivery Network – their operational model for high-volume drone deliery in metro areas – and to support their new partnership with Walmart in the U.S.  That partnership will being in the Dallas Fort Worth area, but represents a significant example of residential BVLOS drone delivery, enabling service for an estimated 60,000 customers.

As the FAA now estimates that a BVLOS rule may not be implemented until 2025, programs like Wing’s – and the operations enabled by recent FAA authorizations for UPS Flight Forward and Zipline – have become more important to making commercial drone delivery viable.    As the drone delivery space begins to gain speed, top players are vying for partnerships with retail and restaurant chains.  Wing’s approach of enabling independent retailers to utilize drone delivery services, as they have done in Christianburg VA and Australia, may provide them with an advantage.  “At Wing, a main focus of Cosimo’s will be helping retailers integrate automated drone delivery in a zero-friction way to realize the paradigm shift that Wing’s delivery represents,” says the company announcement.

Martín Gomez joins Wing after a long career at Aurora Flight Sciences, where he was most recently Senior Chief Engineer. He has worked as an engineer and technical leader for 40 years, across the fields of uncrewed aircraft systems, spacecraft, and embedded systems development.

Cosimo Leipold joins Wing after seven years at Nuro, a leading on-road autonomous delivery company, where he was a founding member. At Nuro, Cosimo led both the Strategy and Partnerships teams and helped the company secure multi-million dollar deals with some of the world’s best known brands, including Walmart, Kroger, and UberEATS.

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