A travel vlogger’s foreign trip can never be completed without some shots taken by a drone, right? However, finding a drone in an unknown country is often a difficult task. That’s why most vloggers prefer to carry their own drone while visiting a foreign country. In this case, almost all of them come to a very confusing situation about carrying the drone through airport security.
Their common question is ‘Can you take a drone through airport security?’ Luckily, most airports allow passengers to carry their personal drones and there is no rule on it. Eventually, it is taken as a regular device of a passenger, and in most cases, the security checker won’t ask you anything about it.
However, you must be here because you have the same question about carrying a drone through the airport, right? And you are about to leave because you’ve got your answer. Wait, things are not done yet. The drone is allowed but what about the other accessories, like the lithium batteries?
That’s why we suggest you spend a few minutes here to make everything clear in this case. In this discussion, we’ll cover the fact of carrying a drone through a plane and also talk about all the other accessories of a drone to help you make a perfect overseas blog. So, Let’s begin.
Can You Take a Drone Through Airport Security?
Let’s first come to the point. Our question is if you can carry a drone on a plane? And the answer is, fortunately, Yes. You can carry a drone on a plane. Almost all the airports let you transport a drone as a carry-on item in the cabin of the aircraft. But it is recommended to carry your drone with you as a carry-on instead of checking it in as luggage separately. As it is a smaller object, you should carry it in your bag so that you can show security if they ask you.
Still, the rules and regulations regarding the transportation of drones can vary depending on the airline and country you are traveling with. Some airlines may have specific guidelines and restrictions not for the drones, but for the batteries. That’s why we always advise you to check the regulations of the airline before you travel.
Besides, you should check the area-based regulations of your destination regarding drone usage to ensure compliance. You should even remember that there are many states and countries where you need to register a drone before you use it for personal purposes. Though the rules are not applicable to all drones, they can be mandatory to follow, especially to use a professional-grade drone.
Things to Consider While Traveling on a Plane with a Drone
While carrying your drone on a plane, you should scrutinize a few things to ensure that the drone won’t be an issue in your safe and happy tour. As I’ve said before, there are no hard and fast rules about carrying a drone as it is considered a personal device. Still, you should be careful especially when you will pack and carry it. Please make sure to take the following facts seriously.
Check All the Airline Policies
Not just for your drone, you should always check all the airline policies while traveling both inside and outside the country. There can be some unique rules that are new additions or recent changes. Even, it is not unusual for an airline or airport security to suddenly change their rule of carrying a drone. So, different airlines can have specific guidelines and restrictions regarding the transportation of drones. That’s why you should always check the policies of your airline. You shouldn’t also forget to check the size or weight restrictions, and whether they allow drones as carry-on items.
Check How to Carry the Drone While Travelling
It is generally recommended to carry your drone as a carry-on item in your smaller handbag. It can be a hassle if you carry it as separate luggage or place it in the big luggage. Eventually, carrying it with you in the cabin reduces the risk of damage to the device. In this case, you should recheck the airport policy again.
Make Sure that the Specific Battery Is Allowed
In this particular case, you can be confused. Most airlines have regulations regarding the transportation of lithium-ion batteries. And you must know that this type of battery is commonly used in drones. So, what will happen if you can’t carry the battery? No worries. You can actually carry the battery but in a specific way. You have to carry spare batteries in your carry-on luggage rather than checked bags. Certainly, I have something essential to discuss about battery transport. Please keep your eyes on the next sections.
You Should Inform Security Personnel First
When passing through security checkpoints, you should inform security personnel that you have a drone in your carry-on bag on your own. Make sure to inform them even if they don’t ask you about it. They may want to inspect it separately or scan it manually, still, it ensures a secure entry for sure. You should always cooperate with the instructions given by the security staff.
Check the Local Regulations about Using a Drone
You should remember that the most challenging fact is not carrying the drone, but using the drone. Different countries have varying regulations on drone usage. There are many countries that have rules that go for direct restrictions on where and when you can fly. In many countries, like Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Madagascar, etc, travelers are strictly prohibited from using a drone.
Also, in many countries, travelers need to ask for official permission from the government office to use a drone. So, we will cover the facts in another discussion. So, before you select a foreign country to make a vlog on, make sure to check their laws and rules on using a drone. Please remember that, in countries like Ecuador, you may have to pay a fine worth more than $500 for flying a drone. So, be careful of this fact.
Facts-Checking: Transporting Drone Batteries on Plane
Just as I said earlier, there can be a lot of rules and restrictions on carrying batteries. As your drone must have one or more batteries, you need to check the facts so that you will face no issues while carrying it overseas. Please be sure of the following facts in this case.
Carry the Batteries in the Carry-on Bags Only
Most airlines usually allow carrying lithium batteries on the aircraft as part of your carry-on luggage. But they suggest you carry the batteries in your carry-on bags only. Those batteries are not usually allowed in checked baggage. It’s because there is a risk of fire from potential short circuits in lithium batteries.
Check the Rules on Battery Quantity and Capacity Limits
Some Airlines impose limits on the number and capacity of lithium batteries that passengers can carry. These limits are usually based on the watt-hour (Wh) rating of the battery. That’s why you shouldn’t forget to check your instructions and restrictions of the specific airlines you are traveling with.
Make Sure to pack the Batteries in The Right Way
As you’ve learned, there are some regulations on carrying lithium batteries. That’s why you should always pack the batteries in the appropriate way. It is usually suggested to pack Lithium batteries in a way that prevents short circuits. For that, passengers are requested to carry them in their original retail packaging.
Also, the security officers suggest covering the battery terminals with insulating tape or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag to prevent contact with other batteries or conductive materials. So, you should pack the batteries accordingly to avoid further interrogations.
Ask Permission for Carrying Large Batteries
Some airlines also require advance approval or notification for large lithium batteries that exceed a certain watt-hour rating. So, if your drone requires a larger lithium battery, you better ask your airlines in the first place. Who knows, you might be stopped from carrying it and you end up leaving for a new place to make your vlog without the batteries.
We simply suggest rechecking the specific regulations and guidelines of your airline before you travel. At the same time, you should check the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines for transporting lithium batteries and be acknowledged for their comprehensive guidance on safe transportation practices.
How to Pack a Drone for A Long Drive?
Now, you must be thinking about the final fact of carrying your drone over the seas on a plane. And it must be about how to pack it, right? If not, you should think about it. Well, we can help with simple and effective guidance to pack your drone for a long air journey. Please be careful while packing your drone and follow the instructions below.
Pack the Drone in a Dedicated Drone Case
You should invest in a quality drone case or backpack that is designed specifically for your drone model. These types of model-based bags are available in the market and they are very effective in protecting your device for carrying it here and there. These cases provide secure compartments and padding to protect your drone and its accessories from impacts, vibrations, and other potential hazards during transportation.
Remove Propellers and Batteries Before Packing the Drone
Make sure to remove the propellers and detachable parts before you pack the drone. It will help to minimize the risk of potential damage and accidental activation. Besides, professionals and most airline policies also advise removing the batteries and packing them separately to prevent any potential short circuits.
Organize All the Accessories
Make sure to place all your drone’s accessories, like all the spare batteries, remote controllers, propellers, chargers, and cables, in designated compartments or pockets within the case. You can avoid any damage or loss by securely organizing them in the case.
Pack the Drone Case in a Secure Place
Before you leave your home, you should place the drone case or bag in a secure location in your carry-on bag. It is essential to avoid excessive movement or potential damage. You can place the case in a secure space that is surrounded by soft clothes and there are no hard objects nearby. Remember not to place it on the edge of the carry-on bag.
Finally, you should ensure that the case or bag is properly closed and fastened before you leave. Don’t forget to double-check all zippers, latches, or straps to prevent any accidental openings while in transit.
So, carrying a drone is not an issue for most airlines and airports. You can carry them with no interrogation, especially if you pack them and carry them properly. But make sure to inform the security officer that you have a drone with you even if they don’t ask you about it. You should be clear from your place.
But make sure to acknowledge the battery transportation rules. Eventually, you should check all the airline policies no matter what you are carrying. Thank you for your time and best of luck for your next tour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take a drone on a plane in my carry-on?
Yes, you are allowed to carry your drone on your carry-on. In fact, it is suggested to carry it in the carry-on only. But you should pack the drone properly and make sure that the batteries are packed separately.
Can I transport my DJI mini on a plane?
Yes, you can transport your DJI mini on a plane. Indeed, almost all the models of this brand are allowed to carry on a plane. But we suggest you check the battery transporting rules as regulations vary from airline to airline regarding the permission and instructions for carrying lithium batteries.
Can I carry my Drone’s lithium battery in the Checked luggage?
In most airlines, you are not allowed to carry your drone’s lithium batteries on the checked luggage. It is recommended to carry the batteries in your Carry-on and securely pack them to avoid potential risk.