We first heard about DJI’s plan for its debut Drone Arena earlier this month. Well, on Wednesday the company threw open the doors to the brand new purpose-built facility, welcoming quadcopter enthusiasts keen for a different kind of flying experience.
Newly released photos (above) taken inside the 1,395-square-meter arena near Seoul, South Korea, reveal an adjustable LED-lit circuit where pilots can test out their flying skills, LCD TVs giving spectators a first-person view from the remotely controlled copters, a space for learning more about drone technology, and a maintenance room for minor repairs should your beloved drone sustain damage following a harder-than-expected landing, otherwise known as a crash.
Flying sessions last three hours and cost 15,000 won (about $13.50) per person, though to reduce the risk of mid-air collisions the space allows a maximum of only 12 pilots at any one time.
Visiting Seoul on business or vacation and just happen to have a drone in your luggage? Travelers from overseas are invited to make a reservation at the arena via this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to get kids familiar with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and no doubt hopefully become future loyal customers of the drone giant, the flashy new arena also features a “Flying Academy” for children aged 8 to 16.
As part of the program, participants can learn all about the features of the Phantom 4, along with safety tips and best practices, while at the same time enjoying eight practice sessions over the course of a month. Besides teaching the littl’uns, pro DJI pilots will also offer private flying lessons to adults.
So why South Korea and why now for DJI’s debut Drone Arena?
“Since the opening of our Korea flagship store a few months ago, we’ve seen increasing interest in drones from consumers, many of whom are learning about the technology for the first time, from tech-savvy teenagers to retirees looking for their next hobby,” DJI’s Kevin On told Digital Trends. The associate director of communications for the region added that consumers there have a deep fascination for new tech, with camera-equipped UAVs changing how people “see the world and capture stories.”
Besides functioning as a meeting point for drone fans and a place for beginners to learn the ropes, the new arena is also likely to prove popular on rainy days or for those living in built-up areas with no easy access to safe flying spaces. We just wish it could take more than 12 pilots at a time!