DJI Mavic Air 2 was released in April 2020, and since then, it has been one of the favorite drones among amateur aerial photographers, videographers, and travelers. Its sweet price point and high-end features made it an attractive deal for them. In this article, we are going to discuss the DJI Mavic Air 2 Range and see how far can it go and is ‘allowed’ to go.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 works on Ocysync 2.0 and has a maximum range of 10 km (6.2 Miles). This is how far the drone can go from the controller if you are in a clear area with no obstacles and signal interference. However, local laws, signal interferences, and obstacles considerably reduce the actual range.
Let’s discuss things in more detail and see how different factors affect the DJI Mavic Air 2 range so that you have an idea of how far you can fly your MA2.
DJI Mavic Air 2 Range
When we discuss the range of any drone, it can mean two different aspects of how far it can go:
- Transmission rangee – how far away the drone can still receive commands from the controller.
- Battery range – How far the drone can travel before draining half the battery (other half is needed for traveling back)
Your actual range is limited by the shortest of both ranges. Let’s discuss both in detail.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 uses Ocusync 2.0 – the proprietary DJI transmission protocol that has a theoretical range of 10 km. Drones using Ocusync 2.0 can send and receive data to and from the remote controller at this distance where there are no signal interference or obstacles.
However, in our daily flying, the range is limited by a few factors.
Limitation by law
Just like there are laws & regulations that control the Mavic Air 2 max altitude, there are legal limitations on how far your transmitter can transmit to control your drone. Ocusync 2.0 and DJI remote control hardware can technically generate signals strong enough to cover a radius of 10 km, but not all countries and territories allow it.
For this reason, DJI has different models and certifications by region. The type of certification is typically written on each drone and remote controller, and the transmitter power is locked in the firmware. The four most popular certifications and the maximum allowable transmitter range are listed below.
CE: If the drone bears the CE mark, it must be used in the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Macau, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, and other regions subject to CE certification. Means. The maximum allowed range in CE regions is 6km.
FCC: If the drone is marked with the FCC on the label below, it is intended for use in the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other regions that accept FCC certification. These drone models have no maximum range limit by law and can use the drone’s maximum theoretical range of 10 km (if other conditions are ideal, such as no signal interference or obstacles).
SRRC: This certification is valid in Mainland China. The maximum allowed transmission range is 6 km.
MIC: This certification is for use within Japan only. The maximum allowed transmission range is 6 km.
|Certification Type||Legally Allowed Range|
Drones shipped to the EU and North America usually have both CE and FCC certification on the sticker at the bottom. The drone will switch to the appropriate region based on the GPS location. People also spoof GPS locations to unlock the FCC version in the EC area, but I would not recommend it.
To check if your drone is operating under FCC or CE, you can go into your DJI Fly App (tap 3 dots >> transmission) and see how many double-digit channels are there.
- If you see 11 double-digit channels, you are in FCC mode.
- If you see 13 double-digit channels, you are in CE mode.
Interference & obstacles limit
Even if it is legally permitted to fully use the 10km range of Ocusync 2.0, there will always be interference and obstacles that narrow the transmission range.
If you are flying in an urban area with too many cell phone towers, Wifi signals from homes and offices, and other interfering signals, you can expect a significant reduction in range.
The range is further reduced if there are obstacles like skyscrapers and towers between the controller and the drone. You can expect the following transmission ranges in different flight environments.
- Urban areas – strong interference, limited line of sight = 3 km
- Suburban areas – medium interference, open line of sight = 6 km
- Rural areas – very low interference, open line of sight = 10 km
When talking about ranges, people usually consider transmitting range and the strength of the remote control signal only. They usually ignore battery range limits which is a big factor.
[Relevant Read: DJI Mavic Air Battery Not Charging]
Even in a completely open area with no signal interference or legal restrictions, the DJI Mavic Air 2’s range can barely reach the 10km mark. Your battery will run out before you can travel that far. Even worst, you only have half the battery capacity to make a one-way run. You will need the other half to travel back home.
If you’ve been flying DJI for a while, you may have noticed that when the battery is half empty, the drone always asks you to initiate a return to home (RTH) mode. If you don’t initiate RTH at this point, you run the risk of losing your drone due to battery drain.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 comes with a 5200 mAH LiPo 3S battery. On a very pleasant day with no wind and extreme temperatures, it can give you up to 8 kilometers of range before it prompts an RTH. Here is a video by Dustin Dunnill.
In summary, although the remote is powerful enough to control the drone at a distance of 10 km, the battery is not big enough to get you to 10 km and brings you back successfully.
Reasons for DJI Mavic Air 2 poor range
After reading all the discussions, you may have a good idea of the Mavic Air 2’s maximum range and the distance it can fly. If the drone isn’t flying as expected, there are several possible reasons for the short distance.
- You might be flying in a heavily populated area where interference from other wireless sources is interfering with your remote controller. This is the most common cause of lower than advertised range.
- You might be flying the CE version, and the firmware lock limits the range. If you are not in an area where CE is applicable but your drone is still going into CE mode, you can use GPS spoofing or try using a moded fly app (these are grey areas, so I am not going to link to the resources here. Try at your own risk)
- Your antenna might not be correctly positioned. Remember the rule of thumb: never point the tip of your antenna towards the drone. Keep them perpendicular at all times for best performance.
- You might be flying from behind an obstacle, and there is no clear line of sight. Especially in urban areas, where the more popular bandwidth, i-e 2.4Ghz, is overcrowded, your remote will try to shift to 5.8Ghz. Higher frequencies are even more susceptible to physical obstacles and hence will cause lower range.
Even after taking care of all the points above you still cannot reach DJI Mavic Air 2 max distance, maybe there is a hardware issue with your drone or remote controller. Contact the DJI support team and they might replace/repair your unit. You can also check out my more detailed blog about drone ranges and what factors affect them.