Drone News Roundup: Inspire 3 Tour of Macao, Drone Footage of NYC Wildfire Air Pollution, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
15 June 2023

This week we’re covering a drone tour of Macao shot entirely on the new DJI Inspire 3.

We’re also covering drone footage of the extreme haze in New York City caused by wildfires in Canada, a neighbor using a drone to help catch a thief who stole $30,000, new research showing just how much public safety agencies rely on DJI drones, and Skydio’s nationwide BVLOS approval in Japan.

Now on to the links!

Tour of Macao Shot with the DJI Inspire 3

Macao Never Sleeps | DJI Inspire 3

DJI’s Inspire 3 launched just a few months back, providing a long-awaited upgrade to the Inspire 2. This drone tour of the city of Macao showcases what the new Inspire 3 is capable of, with a special emphasis on its ability to capture shots in low light and at night. Night shots are supported on the Inspire 3 by the X9-8K camera‘s dual-native ISO and 14+ stops of dynamic range, making it, in DJI’s words, “the right tool to capture stunning true-to-life details in low light situations.”


Drone Footage of New York Shows Just How Bad the Air Pollution Is

NEW DRONE FOOTAGE: New York City Turned Orange Due To Canadian Wildfire Smoke

Smoke from Canadian wildfires recently turned the sky orange in New York City. On Wednesday last week, air in the city reached an AQI (Air Quality Index) of 342. With AQI levels, anything over 300 is considered hazardous to your health—New York’s AQI was so bad last week that it was considered the worst of any city in the world. Some in the city have taken to wearing masks to protect themselves, and the FAA has halted certain flights bound for New York City due to low visibility. Watch this drone footage shot by drone pilot Lokman Vural Elibol to see what the conditions looked like in the city last week.


Thief Who Stole $30,000 Caught with Help from Neighbor’s Drone

Credit: Hercules Police Department

A teenager recently stole $30,000 in cash and property during a home invasion in the city of Hercules, California. After the robbery the suspect escaped in an Uber. But a neighbor who lived next door was able to locate the thief a few hours later using a drone, spotting the suspect in a hiding spot that was apparently not far from the location of the crime. The cash and property was returned, and the thief was ID’ed using surveillance video from the scene.


Research Shows How Much Public Safety Agencies Rely on DJI—And How Bad a Full Ban Would Be


Credit: DJI

Forbes recently collected in-depth data about the types of drones that state government and local police are using via FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) requests. The data showed that these entities are buying “thousands of Chinese drones made by DJI and Autel”—which is no surprise to anyone who follows the drone industry. The data serves to further back up concerns about what will happen if widespread country-of-origin bans go into effect in the U.S. Florida already has a ban in place that has grounded its law enforcement and fire department drone fleets, and Arkansas recently passed its own ban. If similar bans follow, the U.S. might soon be a place where public safety agencies can’t use the drones they have and don’t have the funds to buy more.


Skydio Gets Unprecedented Nationwide BVLOS Approval in Japan

Credit: Skydio

Skydio recently got a first-of-its-kind approval from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) to fly drones remotely in Japan, allowing for BVLOS operations using the Skydio Dock and Skydio’s Remote Ops software. The approval is sweeping. It applies nationwide, opening the door for remote BVLOS missions throughout Japan. In a statement about the new approval, Skydio said: “This waiver represents a landmark moment for the drone industry, and is a reflection of regulators responding to the advances in AI and autonomy that are already defining the next chapter in drones and delivering enormous value for organizations.”


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