Drones are a must for loads of people when planning to go for a vacation. The aerial videos and photos can indeed be a unique way of putting your adventures into frames or screens. In fact, in comparison to regular videos or images, the aerial footage might make you remember the trip much better.
However, when it comes to taking the drone with you on vacation, the question of can you bring a drone on a plane or not might go through the back of your head. Well, in this thorough discussion, we will get to the bottom of the topic. So, if you want to get your confusion cleared, stick till the end.
Can You Take a Drone on a Plane?
All the airlines are required to follow the FAA and TSA regulations to restrict passengers from carrying certain items on the plane. And the TSA regulations allow passengers to have drones with them. But the passenger should go through the airport security checkpoint.
The thing is, the federal laws did not restrict the drones. But each airline has come up with its own policies to regulate the people carrying drones with them. Another thing that you need to note is that no known airlines will explicitly prohibit drones. Instead, they will ask you to carry the drones in some of their preferred ways.
Some airlines will make the passengers carry their drones in the carry-on baggage. In other words, they will not allow you to take the drone in your checked baggage. Many of the airlines will let you carry the drones in both of your checked or carry-on baggage. You will not face any restrictions with those airlines.
What Should You Do Before Carrying Drone with You on Flights?
As we have mentioned earlier, the FAA and TSA can only regulate domestic flights. For the international flights, the case will be a little bit different. For example, when you plan to travel to a specific country, you will need to abide by the laws of that country. Let us explain things by giving a country as an example.
In the Bahamas, all the people who want to operate a drone need to register the drone with the government. That includes the foreign visitors as well. Failure to do the registration might result in the government confiscating the drone. Now, that is something that you would not want, right?
For that reason, before you travel to another country on an international flight, you need to research the laws and regulations. Specifically, look for the rules that are for drones. If you do not do this review and travel with a banned item, you can get fined for it. And the worst-case scenario will make you get denied entry to that country.
How Should You Take a Drone on a Plane?
Do you not want to face any problems or issues while traveling with that drone? Well, if you know the right way to carry a drone, things can get much more manageable. Want to know what the right way is? Well, here are the steps:
Step 1: Check the Airline Policies
Before anything else, you will need to check the airline policies. Determine whether the regulations prohibit drones in carry-on or checked baggage or not. You should also review the airline’s policies in terms of traveling with LIPO batteries. That review will come in handy if you want to carry the drone on the plane.
Nonetheless, the batteries and the drone need to be on the carry-on luggage in most cases. But that does not mean that each airline will permit that. Some might not. So, review the rules and regulations of the airline before settling on the baggage.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Way to Carry the Drone
After you go through the policies, you should find the right storage for the drone. For example, a drone case might be the best pick for you. They are usually compact but offer a proper amount of space to carry the drone and its accessories. That means you can carry the drone with the batteries and the controller in one case!
Step 3: Check the Dimensions of the Case
Next, you will want to consider the dimensions of the case. If the drone case is too large for carry-on baggage, you might want to change the casing. Why? Well, some airlines will prohibit carrying drones in checked baggage. For that reason, you should get a case that will fit both the checked and carry-on baggage.
On that note, 22 x 14 x 19 inches is the standard limit for carry-on luggage. Again, as the other restrictions vary from one airline to another, this limit can also vary. For example, some airlines might allow you to take bags that are up to 21 inches wide.
Along with the size, you also need to check the weight of the baggage. Typically, the weight limit for carry-on baggage is 50 pounds. But some airlines might allow the bags that are up to 22 pounds. So, check the weight of the baggage before you head to the airport.
Step 4: Inform the TSA Agents
When you are going through the security checkpoints, it would be good to inform the TSA agents that you are carrying a drone in your luggage. Even though the TSA will allow the drones, the scanner might raise a red flag when it scans the drone. So, you should make the TSA agent aware that you have a drone in your bag.
What Are the Regulations of Drone Batteries on a Plane?
You will be capable of taking a drone with you through the airport. And by federal law, they are not even prohibited in places. However, the FAA has some restrictions on the batteries of the drone. You see, most drones will have lithium-ion batteries, which are hazardous materials.
Power of the Batteries
Considering the risk related to the material, the FAA allows only to take battery supplies that are rated at 100 watts per hour or lower. Also, according to the regulations of the FAA, you will only be capable of carrying lithium-ion batteries on your carry-on baggage.
You will be capable of seeing the watt-hour rating on the battery. It should be stated with Wh unit, which should not cross 100.
Number of Batteries
According to the FAA, each of the passengers will be capable of carrying up to three batteries. And each of the batteries should be 100 Wh or lower. Also, the batteries can be inside checked baggage if it is inside the drone.
Can I carry batteries that are more than 100 Wh?
It is possible to carry batteries with100 Wh through an airline. However, you will need approval. You also need to keep the batteries inside the checked baggage.
Do I need to keep my drones in a secure casing to carry them with me on flights?
That will depend on the policy of the airline. The rules and regulations will not be the same for all. So, give the policies a review before settling on something.
Can I get my drone back if it gets confiscated?
There is really no guarantee of getting the drone back if it gets confiscated by the local authorities or the police. You will need to try your luck and negotiate with the authorities to get it back.
How many drones can I carry with me on a plane?
There is no limit when it comes to how many drones you can carry. However, you need to note that you can only carry three batteries at once.
Do I need to use any protection on the drone batteries?
If you plan to carry the batteries with you on a plane, you will need to use something to protect them against short circuits. Without that, you might face restrictions in carrying the batteries.
Still asking the question can you bring a drone on a plane? Yes, you can! There are no TSA regulations restricting passengers from traveling with their drones in their bags. However, you need to check the rules and regulations of the airline before settling things.