Skip to main content
  1. Blog/

DJI Air 3: How to Set Up Safety Features (Step-by-Step Guide with Video)

8 mins
Drone Blog
Table of Contents

Released this past summer of 2023, the DJI Air 3 is a capable update to the two-year-old feature-packed DJI Air 2S.

One of the main areas in which the Air 3 has been upgraded would be the obstacle avoidance sensors.

Instead of a four-way obstacle avoidance system, like its predecessor, the DJI Air 3 has omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.

This new system ensures the Air 3 has 360-degree obstacle avoidance protection. With this new system also comes other updates and additions to the current safety options for the Air 3.

This article and the included YouTube video will discuss the various safety features of the Air 3 and show how to:

  • Set up obstacle avoidance
  • Set RTH (Return to Home) options
  • Update the home point
  • Set the Air 3’s maximum altitude
  • Enable augmented reality (AR) settings and more

The Safety Tab #

To access and modify the safety features of the DJI Air 3, you will need to be in the Safety tab to make the necessary adjustments.

To access the safety tab, both the Air 3 and DJI RC 2 or RC-N2 will need to be powered on and connected to the DJI Fly app.

Go into the Fly app menu/options in the Camera View screen by tapping the three dots in the upper right-hand corner.

You’ll want to be in the Safety Tab. If you are in another tab, simply press the Safety tab.

**» MORE: **Drone Safety Features (All You Need to Know)

Flight Assistance #

The first area we’ll be looking at is the Flight Assistance options. These include:

  • Obstacle Avoidance Actions
  • Bypass Actions
  • Display(ing) Radar Map

Obstacle Avoidance Action #

The obstacle avoidance action is broken into three separate options and determines the behavior of the Air 3 when obstacles are detected.

Before flying, you’ll want to define what the Air 3 will do once it approaches an obstacle.

The available actions are:

  • Bypass – When enabled and controlling the Air 3, the Air 3 will automatically go around detectable obstacles. If there is no available way to do so, the Air 3 will then hover until action can be taken by the drone pilot.
  • Brake – When the brake action is enabled, the Air 3 will automatically stop and hover when encountering obstacles. You will then be able to determine the best course of action to take.
  • Off – Turns off all obstacle avoidance systems. With this action, the Air 3 can run into obstacles in the environment. Some drone pilots, like myself, use this option when flying in tight spaces.

**» MORE: **Obstacle Avoidance in DJI Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Bypass Actions #

Baypass Actions dictates how the Air 3 behaves when bypassing obstacles.

  • Normal – The Air 3 will look for objects and obstacles before reaching them, staying a safe distance from the obstacle(s).

  • Nifty – This is sort of like Cine mode for the Bypass action. When enabled, the Air 3 will avoid obstacles with more laid-back and smooth movements. However, this Bypass option has a higher chance of colliding with obstacles.

**» MORE: **

Display Radar Map #

The Radar Map (which can be toggled on and off) is an on-screen aid used to quickly alert you to how close the Air 3 is to objects.

This is done through the use of the colors orange or red, depending on how close the drone is to an object.

When close to an object the radar turns orange and gradually turns to red as the Air 3 flies dangerously close to the object.

The Radar Map is particularly useful for those who turn off all obstacle avoidance and fly close to objects in the environment, or fly through tight areas and spaces.

At the bare minimum, the Radar Map will give a visual warning of obstacles.

**» MORE: **DJI Mini 3 / Pro – Map and Radar Explained (Video)

Return to Home (RTH) #

Return-to-home (RTH) will return the Air 3 to the recorded home point without any additional input from you.

In this section, you’ll want to set the options for Advanced RTH.

Advanced RTH #

There are two settings available for Advanced RTH. These RTH settings are:

  • Optimal
  • Preset

Optimal Advanced RTH #

When in Optimal Advanced RTH, the Air 3 plans the best route for it to get home, regardless of any RTH height options previously input.

It will adjust its height to get above, below, or around any type of obstacle or interference signal in the area that could disrupt a successful RTH.

With the optimal setting chosen, the Air 3 will use the straightest and most direct route to RTH to save on battery power, which in turn increases the amount of time the Air 3 can fly.

This may possibly even save the Air 3 if the batteries are low.

If it is too dark for the Air 3’s vision sensors, the Air 3 will default to a variation of Preset mode, with preset altitude options, which we’ll look at.

**» MORE: **Does DJI Air 3 Have Return to Home (Explained)

Preset Advanced RTH #

In this mode, the Air 3 will return home at the preset height.

As a rule of thumb, I set my Auto RTH Altitude to 30 feet or so above the highest obstacle wherever I might be flying for the day.

If the Air 3 is in Optimal Advanced RTH when the lighting conditions are too poor for the Air 3’s vision system to see its way home, the Auto RTH Height will be used.

Auto RTH Altitude #

The Auto RTH Altitude is an essential option to set.

The reason is that in the event of an emergency (we’ll touch on this shortly), you’ll want the Air 3 to have sufficient height when returning home.

As a rule of thumb, it is always good to set your return-to-home height a fair bit higher than the tallest obstruction in your area.

Some simply set their RTH altitude to the maximum flight ceiling in the United States (400 feet) and just go.

This can be dangerous if the Air 3 is returning home and there are low-flying aircraft in the vicinity.

**» MORE: **How High Can You Fly a Drone? (Legal and Technical Limits)

Update Home Point #

Updating the home point allows you to change your home point from where it was automatically set in the DJI Fly app upon acquiring a GPS signal, and set it where you want it.

This is especially useful if you find yourself moving from one location to another rapidly while flying, perhaps when on a boat or another moving object.

The home point can only be moved once the drone is in the air and has a full GPS lock.

To update the home point:

STEP 1: While in the air, press the arrow to the right of Update Home Point.

STEP 2: A map of your immediate location will populate the center of the screen. Drag the screen until the yellow H moves to your new desired home point location. When done, simply press OK, and the new home point will be updated.

If you’d like to set the home point back to where it was, simply do the above steps in reverse.

You can also set the home point to be where the Remote Controller is currently located. One scenario for this would be when covering areas rapidly while in a vehicle or on a boat.

To update the home point to the remote controller, while in the “Update Home Point Map”:

Tap the Remote Controller icon. The Home Point will then be set to the exact location where the RC is currently.

**» MORE: **DJI Air 3 Master Shots (All You Need to Know with Video)

AR Settings #

The Air 3 benefits from the inclusion of AR (augmented reality), displaying on-screen overlays to assist with home point identification and return-to-home functions.

With Show AR Home Point options on, you will see a virtual H on the Live View screen representing the Air 3 home point, which can be seen in all of the map views.

With the Show AR Return-to-Home route option enabled, there is a green path showing what route the Air 3 will take to RTH.

Lastly, when landing, there is also a virtual “Air 3” on-screen showing where the Air 3 will exactly land. This is called Show AR Aircraft Shadow.

Flight Protection #

This section is used to define how far and high the Air 3 will fly at any given time. Although our intention may be to stay within the confines of the law, when in flight, this might be difficult to maintain.

Max Altitude #

If you are in the United States, because it is illegal to fly above 400 feet, you may choose to set the Max Altitude to anything under 400 feet.

If you are in a country that regulates the maximum altitude that you can fly, likewise you’ll want to set that number here.

Max Distance #

Additionally, you can also set the maximum distance. If you are concerned about flying too far out, you can set the value to any number you’d like. If distance isn’t a concern, this can be set to No Limit.

**» MORE: **Long Range Drones: Ultimate Guide

Advanced Safety Settings #

Advanced safety settings determine how the Air 3 behaves when the Air 3 disconnects from the remote controller.

Disconnects can occur due to variants in the environment, such as tall trees, mountains, canyons, or even signal interference and loss due to buildings.

Signal Lost #

Signal loss options are as follows:

  • RTH – The Air 3 will return to the home point, regardless of the surroundings.
  • Descend – The Air 3 will descend and land, even if the signal was lost over water.
  • Hover – The Air 3 will stay in one place until it receives input from you. You may have to go to the location of the Air 3 to regain a connection.

**» MORE: **What Happens If a DJI Drone Loses Signal?


How to Get a Drone License in Nevada (Explained for Beginners)
9 mins
Drone Blog
Best SD Cards for DJI Mavic 3 (Classic / Pro / Cine)
12 mins
Drone Blog
UAV Coach Drone Photo Contest – Win $250!
2 mins
Drone Blog
DJI Mini 3 Pro Unable to Take Off (Solved)
6 mins
Drone Blog
Do I Need to Register My DJI Mini 3 Pro in Australia? (Explained)
7 mins
Drone Blog
Part 1: My Journey from Drone Hobbyist to Part 107 Pilot
11 mins
Drone Blog