Can You Bring A Drone On A Plane? (through TSA)

credit: Milan Markovic

Drones are becoming more popular internationally, with hundreds of thousands of new drones registered every year, many of which are intended for personal use. Many drone owners want to travel with their drones but are unsure about whether they can take drones on an aircraft. Can you bring a drone on a plane?

You can bring a drone onto a plane if the batteries are within the capacity limitations, and you do not leave the batteries in checked luggage. Be sure to check your airline regulations before traveling with a drone. Special permissions can be acquired for drones used for professional work.

Can You Bring A Drone Onto A Plane?

Drones are rapidly becoming more popular internationally, and these devices are often used for recreation and for professional purposes, which means that many people want to travel internationally and bring a drone along with them.

However, there is not much clarity regarding traveling on planes with drones. Is anyone allowed to bring a drone with them on a plane? The simple answer here is that you can bring a drone on a plane.

There are some specific regulations to follow regarding devices, such as drones, when traveling by air, but so long as these regulations are met, anyone can bring a drone with them on a plane.

There are no FAA regulations prohibiting drones on planes, so long as they are not dangerous, they are not used during the flight, and they are stored correctly for transport.

The only real issue regarding drones on airlines is the batteries that these devices require. There are strict limitations regarding battery capacity on planes, and many drone batteries exceed these limits.

Drone batteries that are less than 100W in capacity are not a problem, and there are no limits to how many of these batteries you can bring with you, but any battery between 101W and 160W is limited to only two per passenger.

Batteries with higher capacities require special permission from the airline, and carrying more than two batteries that are more than 100W also must be pre-approved before the flight to avoid confiscation.

Carries batteries such as these are typically only permitted for professional applications or for the purposes of devices used in scientific research or humanitarian work.

Can You Take A Drone Through TSA?

A major concern of all drone owners is whether or not their drone will make it through TSA checkpoints at international airports. If a drone does not make it through this check, there is no point in bringing it along in the first place.

Drone pilots can rest assured that the TSA has no current restrictions regarding drones, so long as they are not carrying prohibited materials, and they are safe for travel and general use.

If you have a drone in your luggage when going through a TSA check, there should be no reason for the agents to confiscate your drone, and it should be allowed through the checkpoint so long as everything is above board.

Will A Drone Get Through Airport Security?

Airport security is separate from TSA checkpoints, and every airport has its own safety regulations to follow as well as international and federal regulations.

This means that specific airports may be more reluctant to allow drones through than others. However, the FAA and the TSA do not prohibit the transportation of drones on aircraft, which means that no airport security should prohibit it either.

This does depend on the local laws and rules regarding drone use, as some countries do not allow the use of drones for any reason, but in most cases, your drone should make it through all airport security checks without any issues.

Can You Bring A Drone As Carry-On Luggage?

Drone pilots often find themselves wondering if a drone should be brought onto a plane as carry-on luggage or should the drone be checked with the rest of the luggage.

You can bring your drone onto a plane as carry-on luggage so long as it does not exceed the limits prescribed by the airline regarding weight and the number of carry-on luggage items.

This is especially true for smaller drones that can fit easily into overhead compartments and hand luggage. Larger drones may need to be gate-checked, and some drones may be required to be checked in with the rest of the luggage, but most drones can be brought as carry-on luggage.

Be sure that you remove the batteries from the drone as per airline regulations, and you should have no problems bringing your drone onto the plane with you.

Can You Bring A Drone As Checked Luggage?

Drones are allowed to be brought as carry-on luggage, but some drones are too large and must be brought as checked luggage. Can you bring a drone as checked luggage, or are only smaller drones permitted on planes?

You can check a drone in with checked luggage onto a plane, but remember that the luggage compartment on aircraft is not pressurized or temperature controlled in the same way as the cabin. This means that your drone is likely to be exposed to very cold temperatures and low air pressure and is likely to be jostled and shaken around a lot during the journey.

For this reason, it is crucial to place your drone in a flight case and always bring your drone batteries onto the plane with you in carry-on luggage, as the batteries are unlikely to survive the extreme cold in the luggage compartment.

Can You Fly With A Drone into Any Country?

A common question regarding drones is whether or not you can bring a drone with you by plane into any country. The answer here is somewhat complex and very region-specific.

Not all countries permit the use or transportation of drones, never mind the entry of international drones into the country. This means that even if you are allowed to bring your drone onto the plane, you may not be permitted to bring it into the country when you land.

Always be sure that drones are allowed in the country where you are going, and double-check the regulations regarding bringing drones into the country. Countries such as Morocco are notorious for confiscating drones immediately upon arrival and not returning them to their owner at all.

Never travel with a drone into a country without first being sure that you are permitted to do so.