Drone maker DJI has extended its ‘no-fly zone’ technology which uses an app to prevent its drones from being flown over stadiums, prisons, nuclear power plants and other sensitive locations.

The technology, available via the DJI GO app, bolsters geofencing technology DJI first introduced three years ago.

The system should stop DJI’s Phantom and Inspire drones from being flown in restricted areas, including ‘national security events’, the firm said in a statement.

It will also enable drone users to ‘unlock’ some of the restricted areas where they have permission to operate.

The Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) software, which is available for iOS and Android operating systems, aims to prevent a drone from entering or taking off in areas such as airports, unless a pilot with a verified DJI account temporarily unlocks it for permissible use.

DJI points out that certain security restrictions, such as those in force around Washington DC, cannot be unlocked by the user.

DJI’s vice-president of policy and legal affairs Brendan Schulman said: ‘Drone pilots want to fly safely, and our GEO system helps DJI customers fly responsibly, while also enabling the full capabilities of remotely piloted aircraft.’

The software also allows for temporary flight restrictions around wildfires, so that fire crews can operate ‘without disruption’.

In May, DJI blasted as ‘irresponsible’ a report which revealed that UK police received almost 900 calls about drone use in 2015.

The 860 reports of drones flying over residential properties included concerns that users are flying the unmanned aerial devices to spy on children, and criminals are using them to plan burglaries.

The data was obtained from UK police forces by Esri UK, a mapping software company, under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

DJI condemned the data as ‘simply an unedited listing of raw complaints with no attempt to verify whether any of them had any merit’.

The report came amid growing concerns about the safety of drones and fears of a collision with a passenger jet.

DJI said at the time: ‘We urge all drone users to follow all applicable laws in their jurisdiction, but there is absolutely no evidence that any of the [police] reports indicate real violation of laws.’

For further details visit http://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-system.