If you’re a drone enthusiast in South Africa, it can prove extremely difficult to get your drone into the air given all the red tape and nosy regulators you have to worry about.

While there haven’t been any changes in this regard, DJI has a new feature on the way which should be handy for professional drone photographers/videographers. This new “AirSense” technology as DJI is terming it will allow the drones to detect airplanes and helicopters thanks to its ability to receive ADS-B signals from nearby aircraft.

The company confirmed their plans at an event in Washington, D.C. earlier this week, also noting that it’s part of a 10-part initiative (PDF) that DJI has in order to better comply with air safety regulations.

“This will be the largest single deployment of ADS-B collision awareness technology to date, and sets a new standard by putting professional-grade aviation safety technology in drones available to everyone,” DJI explained in a press release.

The AirSense tech will be a part of all the manufacturer’s drones released after January 2020 and weighing in excess of 250g.

“AirSense can detect airplanes and helicopters from miles away, farther than a drone pilot can hear or see them, and displays their locations on the screen of the pilot’s remote controller,” DJI points out.

“It has previously been available only on some professional-grade DJI drones,” the company continues.

More specifically it will be able to pick up multiple aircraft within a 321 kilometre (200 miles) radius of the drone in a bid to ensure that there are no mid-air collisions involving one of their products and a commercial or private aircraft.

Having only just been announced by DJI, it should be interesting to see if this new feature will affect how drones are regulated and policed in South Africa. Taking a rather pessimistic view of the current landscape, we’re leaning towards no, but stranger things have happened.

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.