Can a drone be carried on the plane? Regulation in 2023

Surely you already know enough information about how to fly a drone and the regulations governing operations with these devices in Spain. But have you ever wondered if you can take a drone on the plane?

It is possible that at any time you are going to travel you want to take your UAS to your destination to capture stunning aerial photographs with drones, but it is essential that you are well informed about the current regulations and restrictions that may arise, in order to avoid having a hard time at the airport.

Can I travel by plane with a drone?

Yes, you can take a drone on an airplane. However, there are restrictions that you must consider in order to do so.

Currently, most airlines allow you to travel with a drone on an airplane without major complications due to the device itself. However, the main restriction that is established around transporting a drone by plane is related to the handling of the lithium polymer batteries that these devices use.

This type of drone battery is considered dangerous, as it is highly flammable and represents a high fire risk. This leads to limitations in the way in which these types of batteries can be transported on airplanes.

How to carry a drone on an airplane?

The regulations for carrying a drone on an airplane may vary according to each airline. However, in most cases it is not allowed to carry the lithium batteries of the drone in the hold of the aircraft. This means that you must take some necessary actions before traveling with your drone in order to comply with dangerous goods handling policies according to airline regulations.

Can I carry my dron as hand luggage?

Can I take a drone on the plane as carry-on baggage?

Yes, it is possible to travel by plane with a drone as hand luggage, as long as the size of the drone does not exceed the maximum weight or volume recommended by the airline. However, not all types of drones have the right size to go as hand luggage.

The recommendation in this case is that you carry your device without the lithium batteries installed, as these must be stored separately, protecting the ends of the same in a fireproof lining so that they do not come into contact with other elements and thus avoid the risk of fire.

Keep in mind that, although you can carry a drone in your carry-on luggage, airlines usually limit the maximum number of lithium batteries you can take on the plane. In most cases, drones with batteries less than 100 Wh can be carried on a plane without major problems as long as they follow dangerous goods handling recommendations. However, in general, no more than 2 batteries between 100 Wh and 160 Wh are allowed, and in certain cases, it is prohibited to carry them on the aircraft. Although most commercial drones use batteries of less than 100Wh.

Recommendations for traveling with your drone by plane

Even if you know that it is possible to take a drone on the plane, before starting your flight, it is best to find out about some points of interest that may interfere with the normal development of your trip:

  • Check the regulations of the airline on which you plan to travel, to know if there are restrictions on the transport of drones on the plane, and consult what are their conditions for the handling of dangerous goods.
  • Check the amount of watt hours (Wh) that the batteries of your drone have and corroborate that this type of battery is allowed to transport your drone on the plane in hand luggage. You should also check how many of these can be carried as replacements to avoid having to leave them behind before boarding.
  • Make sure that the batteries are stored individually in a secure compartment of the carry-on bag, so that you can easily locate them.
  • It is recommended that you do not carry your lithium batteries fully charged, but preferably half charged.

Recommendations for travelling with your drone by plane

Restrictions for travelling with a drone

As mentioned above, restrictions for traveling by plane are mainly related to the transport of drone batteries, but there are also other restrictions that apply depending on the locality. For example, in some countries it is not allowed to enter with drones.

This is why it is important that you analyze the restrictions on drones in the country of destination, as there are some areas where access with drones is allowed. For example, Morocco is one of the countries where it is not allowed to travel with drones.

You should also check if a drone license is required, and carry with you all the necessary requirements, such as a drone pilot license.

Follow these simple tips and you will be able to travel normally in the airplane with your drone, so you can put into practice all the knowledge you have as a drone operator. And if you have not yet prepared yourself professionally, we invite you to join our professional drone pilot course, where you can learn what a drone is, how to fly it, mechanics for this type of aircraft and much more.

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